News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mon. April 23, 2012: The Caribbean nation of Guyana, host of the 13th annual Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism Conference was also the big winner at the CTO/TravelMole Sustainable Tourism Awards.
Guyana walked away with three of the five awards at the Awards ceremony, which brought down the curtains on the 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-13) at the Guyana International Conference Centre.
The Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award was presented to Guyana’s Rupununi Learners Inc., a wholly unique and worthwhile project which strives to improve the quality of life of the Rupununi inhabitants by enhancing literacy and numeracy, providing access to information and preserving indigenous and local knowledge. Jamaica’s Hotel Mockingbird Hill was also commended in this category.
The Community Benefit Award was awarded to Guyana’s Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development for its long term commitment to conservation and community development, making it the perfect model for other areas. The Bahamas National Coastal Awareness Committee and the Mero Enhancement Committee in Dominica were also highly commended.
The Biodiversity Award went to Guyana’s exceptional Mangrove Reserve Women Producers Project for its fantastic work at positively impacting an economically depressed area of Guyana whilst aiding community development. The Caribbean Research & Management of Biodiversity Foundation (CARMABI) received a special mention in the category.
The 2012 awards comprised five categories covered all aspects of sustainability, from overall excellence, to accommodation, community, heritage and biodiversity. The awards were judged by a panel of three tourism and environmental specialists; Jacqueline Kuehnel, Principal at JK Consulting Enterprises in Canada, Andrew Rhikkie Alexander, Eco-agro Community Participation Tourism Specialist for Guyana and St. Lucia, and the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Product Specialist, Gail Henry.
Winner of the Sustainable Accommodation Award went to the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa in Barbados for positively impacting the local supply chain and community whilst minimizing negative environmental impact, and contributing to conservation of local culture. Special mentions were also given to Hotel Mockingbird Hill and The Tyrall Club in Jamaica.
Kalinago Barana Aute in Dominica took home the “Heritage Protection Award”, for its excellent work in preserving and educating visitors about the last remaining Kalinago people in the Caribbean, whilst harnessing effective community development. The Colours Entertainment & Junkanoo Organization in the Bahamas was also recognized in this category.
The CTO and TravelMole awards are aimed at identifying, recognizing and showcasing sustainable tourism best practices in the Caribbean, which embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and which helps to enhance the tourism product offerings.