CORAL GABLES — The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is strengthening its collaboration with one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), to promote sustainable tourism throughout the Caribbean and bolster its efforts to keep the region’s waters healthy and thriving.
Since the launch of the collaboration two years ago, CHTA and TNC have worked together to design a vision for a regionwide sustainable tourism initiative to promote future investment in the protection and restoration of natural resources.
The renewed partnership includes a coral reef study to increase engagement by the tourism sector in coral restoration efforts, of which key findings and recommendations will be released later this year. Based on the results of the study, and with support from the United Nations Environment Program, coral restoration guidelines designed specifically for the Caribbean tourism sector are in development. This is critical because, as a TNC-led study in 2019 revealed, Caribbean coral reefs generate $7.9 billion per year from roughly 11 million visitors who interact with them directly through activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, or indirectly, by enjoying the beaches, eating seafood and swimming.
Under the new three-year agreement, CHTA’s Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism will expand its online knowledge and resource center geared towards providing practical information on research and training materials to support responsible and sustainable tourism industry practices. These resources will be made available online at caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.
“Caribbean economies need tourism to prosper, and tourism in the region depends on a thriving natural world,” said Dr. Rob Brumbaugh, executive director for The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Division. “Sustainable tourism can, in fact, help nature thrive. As the region works to recover from the pandemic’s economic fallout, it’s more important than ever to create a resilient future for the resources that make the Caribbean one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and for the people who depend on them.”