Symposium on Caribbean's Coastal Tourism Ends in Grenada
A symposium to explore sustainable models for the development of coastal tourism in the Caribbean came to a close in Grenada.
The three-day event, which was the first of this kind in the region, attracted some 150 tourism experts from universities, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and private sectors.
The symposium provided a platform for participants to share experience and lessons, study key obstacles in the operation of coastal tourism and to work out a better way for sustainable development of it, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization that organized the event.
Over 40 experts attended the 16 workshops and five plenary sessions at the symposium.
Grenadian Tourism Minister Alexandra Otway-Noel, when addressing the opening ceremony of the event, urged the stakeholders to use the symposium to learn the best practice of "eco-tourism" from their international counterparts.
"Now it is the time for us to apply ourselves to learn about eco-certifications and about how big hotel chains have done it right," the minister said. “We will benefit from learning how bonds are formed between tourism and agriculture and how communities have benefited from ways we haven't imagined," she added.
Otway-Noel said despite a depressed economy, Grenada has recorded significant growth in tourism industry in the first half of this year.
There was a 12 percent increase in cruise ship arrivals in 2014, with a 37 percent increase from the Canadian market, an 18.5 percent increase from the European market and a 20.5 percent increase from the U.S. market, according to the minister.