The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (MOTIA), in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), will host the second phase of the Sustainable Tourism Training Programme (STTP) throughout Islands of The Bahamas. Cat Island, Long Island and Grand Bahama started the first leg of this phase of the programme, 21 September and will end 3 October, followed by Abaco and Bimini, 17-28
The joint initiative serves to educate and unite communities through a collaborative effort involving key stakeholders of the tourism industry, members of the local communities, government agencies and business operators. The MOTIA aims to promote more sustainable, inclusive tourism development on a national and community level. Sandra Russell, Director for Family Island Development, explained that it is important to expand the work of the GTSC throughout the Family Islands to improve tourism businesses across the archipelago.
Russell said: “Taking the STTP to additional Family Island destinations will give us the best opportunity to advance sustainable tourism development in our islands. It will help us to progress towards increasing economic, social and environmental sustainability, while contributing to job creation, promotion of local culture and products, with tourism stakeholders and community members leading the way.”
Forty persons will participate in the STTP including industry stakeholders, NGOs, government agencies and private citizens. The STTP aims to empower local communities to maximize economic benefits and create leading roles in tourism planning and management through sustainable tourism. The initiative will teach local members to protect environmental assets, preserve cultural resources and incorporate elements of Bahamian heritage in the development and marketing of brands.
In 2021, the MOTIA joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), which is a non- profit organisation responsible for establishing global standards in destination management and promoting sustainable development of tourism worldwide, with the aim of educating local communities on global best practices in sustainable, community-based tourism management.
Kristal Bethel, Senior Director for sustainability projects in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, said, “The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program explains the complex environmental, social and governance principles underpinning successful tourism destinations in an era of climate change and prepares communities to play a larger role in shaping their destiny.”