Tobago celebrates World Tourism day with inclusive sustainability milestones
Posted Oct 04, 2021
The World Tourism Organisation designated World Tourism Day 2021 (September 27) as a day to focus on Tourism for Inclusive Growth, celebrating tourism's power to create opportunities for everyone. The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited commemorated World Tourism Day this year with sustainability milestones borne out of collaboration with the island’s stakeholders, including two more Green Key awards and a coastal tree planting initiative.
In September 2021, Native Abode and Adventure Eco Villa were awarded the internationally recognised Green Key eco-label. These two tourism accommodation properties, along with Bananaquit and Shepherd’s Inn (awarded in October 2020), are currently the only Green Key certified sites in the English-Speaking Caribbean.
Green Key is an international voluntary eco-label awarded to tourism accommodations and other hospitality facilities that commit to sustainable business practices, and are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. This designation signals to tourists that these establishments adhere to strict criteria as stipulated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), empowering potential guests to help make a difference in regards to sustainability and environmental protection with their choice.
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) manages the execution of Green Key in Tobago in partnership with national programme coordinator Green T&T. Representatives of both organisations visited the winning properties on September 23 and 24 to deliver the well-earned awards to the property owners, and deliver heartfelt congratulations.
The Honourable Ancil Dennis, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly and Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, also extended his congratulations to the awardees stating:
“I must commend the management and staff of both properties for the considerable work put into ensuring that they operate within the highest standards of environmental awareness, conservation and sustainability. Despite the myriad of challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have certainly persevered to increase the value of their offerings.
It is also quite fitting that these awards come on the verge of World Tourism Day 2021 celebrations which has as its theme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”. Accomplishments such as these remind us that tourism serves as the foundation for improvement and growth in many spheres and that, consequently, various elements contribute to the overall sustainability of the Tobago tourism industry.”
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited partnered with environmental NGO Green T&T and local tourism stakeholders to initiate the LEAF “plant a tree for peace” programme in Tobago on September 23, 2021, during the lead-up to World Tourism Day.
LEAF (Learning About Forests) Is an environmental education and conservation program for school children in sustainable-minded destinations across the world, including Tobago. The tree planting initiative took place at two of Tobago’s three Blue Flag pilot beaches - Bloody Bay and the Mt Irvine.
Officials from TTAL’s Product Development and Destination Management team joined up with Green T&T, students from the Black Rock Government School, officials from the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, and Captain Kirth from Top Catch High-Speed Catamaran to plant trees provided by the Division of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries.
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited will continue to implement and manage collaborative initiatives to strengthen on-island stakeholder relationships, and stimulate inclusive and sustainable development of Tobago’s tourism products and people.