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St Kitts holidays go green with the help of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announced that St Kitts and Nevis have been chosen as one of five key destinations to take part in their Early Adopters Program which is geared towards testing the GSTC's new destination criteria. The push towards sustainable tourism in the Caribbean Island has grown in importance with the recent increases in the number of people booking St Kitts holidays.

St Kitts holidays go green with the help of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

On Monday 4th June 2012 the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) named St Kitts and Nevis one of the five destinations chosen to take part in the GSTC’s Early Adopters Program giving these destinations the unique opportunity to test and provide feedback for the GSTC’s new Destination Criteria.

Travellers keen on green holiday destinations in the Caribbean will be pleased to learn that local tourism officials in the beautiful twin island state of St Kitts and Nevis have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability as the popularity of St Kitts holidays continues to exhibit considerable growth.

 Saint Kitts & Nevis
Image by: IDEE_PER_VIAGGIARE, on Flickr

The Destination Criteria outlines in detail the minimum standards required for destinations who wish to be sustainable. St Kitts and Nevis’ inclusion in the Early Adopters Program will undoubtedly be considered as a nod to the Caribbean island’s current work and future ambitions in the area of sustainable tourism. A recent GSTC blog post noted, “These destinations were chosen for their positive impact on the environment, their economic and social benefits to communities, and their education of visitors and residents, among other factors. Some are already pioneers in sustainable tourism; others are just beginning to set out on the path toward sustainability”.

In the past, St Kitts holidays have been one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. However, the nation is quickly building a reputation as one of the up and coming destinations in the region. As the islands transition away from an economy that was largely dependent on the Sugar Industry, tourism has been playing an increasingly significant role in the past few years. Most notably, tourism officials have reported a marked increase in the number of travellers booking cruise holidays in St Kitts and Nevis. As recently as May 2012, the St Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) announced a 222 per cent uplift in the number of yacht arrivals in the first quarter of 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011, this was accompanied by a 40 per cent increase in the number of yacht passengers.

 Saint Kitts Rainforest
Image by: naoyawada, on Flickr

In light of the surge in visitors, the St Kitts and Nevis government are keen on working with local tourism stakeholders, including the many St Kitts hotels, to develop sustainable tourism in the island. Current efforts include the requirement that all major tourism developments complete an Environmental Impact Assessment, the prohibition of constructions in excess of 1000 feet, the development of a National Marine Park and the promotion of sustainable practices via local media and at the island’s Annual Tourism Meeting.

St Kitts and Nevis’ participation in the GSTC’s Early Adopters Program is yet another step in the right direction as it will serve to bolster and uplift the island’s efforts in the field of sustainable tourism.

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