St. Kitts and Nevis won the Destination Stewardship Award earlier this week at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in Seville, Spain.
On Feb. 5, Diannille Taylor-Williams, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Chairperson of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council announced that the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council was one of three finalists for the WTTC 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the category of Destination Stewardship. The other two finalists were Grupo Rio da Prata, Jardim and Bonito, Brazil, and Masungi Georeserve, the Philippines.
According to the website www.wttc.org, The accolade for the award of Destination Stewardship “is presented to organizations helping a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its residents and tourists.”
The Sustainable Destination Council was established in November 2013, and is an advisory body made up of public and private representatives with an interest in sustainable tourism development in St. Kitts.
At the time of the announcement of the finalists, Taylor-Williams said, “this is a big step forward for little St. Kitts,” considering that there were only two Caribbean countries listed as finalists for the 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards—the second being Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort, Aruba, which is a finalist for the Climate Action Award. Taylor-Williams said that the award nomination had garnered worldwide attention.
“One of our international partners said to us: ‘Do you understand what this is? This is like the Grammy or the Emmy of Sustainable Tourism. It’s a big deal. Even if you don’t win, just being a finalist for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards is a big deal,’” she said at the time.
According to the WTTC, “The Tomorrow Award Winners are highly commended and recognized for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel and Tourism Sector.”
The WTTC further states: “Our 2019 Winners promote inclusive growth and illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change and transformation in business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more environmentally conscious sector.”
From a total of 15 finalists in five categories, the other winners were Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba—Climate Action Award; Lemon Tree Hotels Limited, India—Investing in People Award; Awamaki, Peru—Social Impact Award; and SEE Turtles, USA—Changemakers Award.
The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts led by Professor Graham Miller, Executive Dean, Professor of Sustainability in Business, University of Surrey. The panel included academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives who narrowed down the list of 183 applicants to just 15 finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applicants, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiatives.
The Awards, now in their 15th year, take place to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism for initiatives around the globe.