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Sustainable tourism activist discuss green solutions at Caribbean conference

Investing in practices and technologies that sustain the environment and reduce global warming makes economic sense, according to tourism and environmental expert, Peter Hillenbrand, who will address…

Investing in practices and technologies that sustain the environment and reduce global warming makes economic sense, according to tourism and environmental expert, Peter Hillenbrand, who will address delegates attending the 9th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-9), organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).



Hillenbrand contends that it is of critical importance to reduce global warming and the changes that are necessary require monetary investments, as well as investments in cultural change.



But he contends that businesses, particularly those that are reluctant to change, need to be convinced of the economic benefits.



“The best way to have people begin living a more sustainable life is to either scare the heck out of them or demonstrate to governments, businesses and families that with the continual improvements in technology and the decreasing costs of buying this technology, you will save money and help the environment,” says Hillenbrand, who is a dedicated volunteer and donor to various community programs in the Cayman Islands, and who utilizes environmentally friendly technologies.



Hillenbrand, chairman of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and the Little Cayman Research Centre (LCRC), will discuss The Economics of Greening Your Business as part of the Stakeholders Speak Out session at STC-9 – a session at which stakeholders in the Cayman Islands discuss issues of concern and importance to them. In his presentation, he will give examples of sustainable practices that can give a return on investment and are worth adopting.



Themed Health and Wellness: Communities, Environments & Economies, the 9th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise called the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC-9), will be held May 21-24, 2007, at the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa in Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands.



General sessions include: Health and Wellness Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges; Securing Environmental and Human Capital; Defining the Way Forward and Stakeholders Speak Out featuring discussions about “Developing Valuable Tourism Resources Within Our Communities: the Grand Cayman Go East Initiative,” “Preserving Our Culture: Preserving a Caymanian Identity,” “Raising the Bar: Customer Service Standards for the Tourism Sector,” and “The Role of the National Trust in Tourism Development.”



Workshops will focus on “Integrated Coastal Zone Management” and “Developing a Spa Business.” There will also be a special presentation by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company which will provide an update on developments there since Puerto Rico hosted the 8th Annual Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC-8) in April 2006.



The annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of CTO’s Strategy for Sustainable Tourism. It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.



STC-9 is organized by CTO in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and in consultation with the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA). It is co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the Caribbean Regional Sustainable Tourism Development program (CRSTDP).

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