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Caribbean Tourism Chairman calls for protection against impact of climate change

The Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), who is responsible for policies concerning Caribbean holidays and the tourism industry, has called for new initiatives to help protect the region and its assets from the impact of climate change.

Caribbean Tourism Chairman calls for protection against impact of climate change

Hon. John Maginley, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), addressed the 400 delegates who attended the 11th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development on Sunday 9 May and told them that the region must do all it can to ease the effects of the impact of natural disasters.

The Caribbean is susceptible to natural disasters including hurricanes and earthquakes and the recent earthquake in Haiti proved the destruction and devastation these natural disasters can cause. Mr Maginley said:

"We know what it's like to have to cope with storms. We know what it feels like to deal with periodic drought; and most recently, we have experienced the trauma of earthquakes here in our region, a phenomenon from which the People of Haiti are only now beginning to recover. With disasters like these the time is surely right to aggressively push for initiatives that protect and preserve our region's unmatched assets."

With more travellers enjoying Caribbean holidays each year, it is important that whilst measures are being put in place for climate change, the region must remain competitive as a tourist destination and continue to encourage visitors to take holidays in the Caribbean. Mr Maginley, who is also the Tourism Minister for Antigua and Barbuda, added:

"This after all, is the primary means of sustenance for the vast majority of the citizens of the Caribbean. This means we must produce a superb tourism product that is sustainable and which clearly distinguishes us from our competitors."

The event is taking place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados and last three days. Delegates will debate issues and discuss recommendations for the sustainability and viability of the Caribbean's tourism sector. Attendees include the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, Roundel Stuart, representatives of international and regional institutions and ministers of government and will include presentations from the eco-tourism editor of National Geographic Travellers, Jonathan Tortilla who will share his expertise and suggest ways to secure sustainable tourism and continue to entice visitors to enjoy Caribbean holidays.

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