The Sustainable Tourism Zone of The Greater Caribbean

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The Special Committee on Sustainable Tourism seeks to ensure that destinations can attract visitors while, at the same time, do so in a way that would not harm the physical environment or the communities that surround them. These are the values enshrined in the Convention establishing the Sustainable Tourism Zone of the Greater Caribbean (STZC), signed at the 3rd ACS Summit in December 2001 in Margarita, Venezuela. The STZC has been identified “as a geographically determined cultural, socio-economic and biologically rich and diverse unit, in which tourism development will depend on the sustainability and the principles of integration, co-operation and consensus, aimed at facilitating the integrated development of the Greater Caribbean”.

The core element of the STZC Convention is set on Regional Sustainable Tourism Indicators that have been agreed on by the ACS countries as guidelines to evaluate the sustainability of their tourism destinations.

In order to give life to the concept of establishing the STZC and increased awareness among the Greater Caribbean countries, the project Development and Implementation of Sustainability Indicators in the Greater Caribbean was developed in 2005 to be executed in three phases.  At present, 39 Caribbean destinations have been nominated by 26 ACS countries.

The objective of the DST is to ensure that each country of the Greater Caribbean has at least one destination as part of the Sustainable Tourism Zone of the Caribbean.

The project on Developing and Implementing Sustainable Tourism Indicators in the Greater Caribbean is providing tangible and practical tools for selection and evaluation of tourism destinations to become part of the STZC. The objective is to further develop the Sustainable Tourism Indicators as identified in the Convention and to create practical tools for destinations managers to monitor the sustainability of the tourism sector in their areas.

The indicators in the STZC Convention can be categorized as: social, economic and environmental indicators.

In the Pilot Phase of this project,five destinations were evaluated, These are:

  • The City of Roseau in Dominica;
  • Bayahibe in the Dominican Republic;
  • The Resort Area of Ocho Rios in Jamaica;
  • The island of Cozumel in Mexico;
  • The area of Portobelo in the Panamanian Caribbean coast

Seven other destinations were evaluated in the Second Phase, namely :

  • Two in Guadeloupe: Verte Vallée and St. François- Pointe des Châteaux
  • Two in Martinique: Presqu’île de la Caravelle and Sainte Anne ;
  • One in French Guyana: Yalimapo Community ;
  • The Buccoo Reef area in Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago;
  • The Richmond/Lashum Site in St. Vincent and the Grenadine.

The final evaluations will be ready in September 2017.