Skyviews Sustainability Awards programme targets tourism private sector

DIGITAL CAMERABRIDGETOWN, Barbados (16 June 2014) –  A new sustainability awards programme aimed at the region’s tourism private sector will be launched at the Caribbean’s first Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism, in St. George’s, Grenada, next month.

The Skyviews Sustainability Awards enable all businesses, irrespective of size, to measure their progress towards sustainability and to create a resilient supporting environment. The programme measures businesses’ impact on biodiversity, energy, waste, water, and social governance with guidelines on how to achieve best practice in each category. It was developed by Skyviews Inc., a Barbados-based business that produces maps and pocket guides of Caribbean destinations.

“We are at a pivotal point in the course of history and the degradation of earths supporting ecosystems. We have before us an urgent call and challenge to adopt sustainable business practices and decouple environmental degradation from economic progress in order to create continued well-being,” said Jessica Bensley, the chief executive officer of  Skyviews Inc.

“We often talk about ‘measuring what matters, therefore the awards data will provide Caribbean governments with vital information on the private sectors’ adoption towards sustainability and provide quantitative data that directs policy and backs rationale for partnerships in order to create climate resiliency,” she added.

The Skyviews awards programme is just one of several innovative Caribbean initiatives which will be announced at the 9-11 July symposium, a partnership between the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Washington-based Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Grenada’s Ministry of Tourism, and the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association.  These include  a new ‘green’ certification programme for holiday homes and several new programmes designed to strengthen Grenada’s recently unveiled Pure Grenada marketing campaign.

Over 40 regional and international tourism experts will speak on various aspects of sustainable coastal and marine tourism at the event where up to 150 participants from across the Americas will explore challenges to the wider adoption of sustainable tourism models. The three-day conference will feature 16 workshops and five plenary sessions that will cover an extensive range of topics.

Delegates will stay in four of Grenada’s leading eco-boutique resorts while the proceedings will be held mainly at St. George’s University.

For symposium details and updates, including how you can participate, visit or contact Samantha Hogenson at CREST at or 202-347-9203, ext. 414 or the CTO New York office at or 212-635-9530.

The Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism is supported by Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), St. George’s University,  The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the German Ministry for the Environment- funded GIZ-ICCAS Project in Grenada, Puntacana Resort & Club,  The Travel Foundation,  The Ocean Foundation and True Blue Bay Resort.

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About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065;

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511;;

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067;;

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit

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About the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST):

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a unique non-profit organization affiliated with Stanford University, devoted to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. Founded in 2003, CREST functions as a bi-coastal institute, with offices in Washington, DC, and at Stanford University in California.

CREST stands alone in the areas of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism, having built an international network of highly-trained experts providing interdisciplinary analysis and solutions, as well as publications, conferences, courses, training, and educational workshops.   CREST delivers programs and services in field research, feasibility and impact studies, market research, certification programs, traveler’s philanthropy and strengthening sustainable tourism and ecotourism.  CREST’s mission is to promote responsible tourism policies and practices globally so that local communities may thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity.

The rapid pace of resort and vacation home developments along coastlines and on islands is contributing to a variety of environmental and social issues.  CREST has sought to critically address these through research and analysis of the coastal tourism sector – the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry – in order to lessen the social and environmental impact of these developments, and increase the benefits for local communities on the coast.

CREST has extensive experience examining and providing policy recommendations to the coastal tourism sector including several reports and publications: 1) “Alternative Development Models & Good Practices for Sustainable Coastal Tourism: A Framework for Decision Makers in Mexico”, a report which compiles existing best practices for sustainable, large-scale coastal tourism developments in Mexico, and provides recommendations for implementation at the policy level; 2) “The Impact of Tourism Related Development along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast”, a multi-dimensional study which critically assesses the growth, trends and impacts of tourism and tourism related development along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast; 3) “Global Trends in Coastal Tourism”, a study funded by WWF, which analyzes global trends in coastal and marine tourism; 4) “Cruise Tourism Impacts in Costa Rica & Honduras: Policy Recommendations for Decision Makers” and “Cruise Tourism in Belize: Perceptions of Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts”, two reports which take a critical look at the impacts of the cruise tourism industry in Central America.

For more information about CREST, please visit  or contact

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