The World Tourism Organisation designated World Tourism Day 2021 on September 27 as a day to focus on Tourism for Inclusive Growth, celebrating tourism’s power to create opportunities for everyone. The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited commemorated World Tourism Day this year with sustainability milestones borne out of collaboration with the island’s stakeholders, including two more Green Key awards and a coastal tree planting initiative.
Last month, Native Abode and Adventure Eco Villa were awarded the internationally recognised Green Key eco-label. These two tourism accommodation properties, along with Bananaquit and Shepherd’s Inn (awarded in October 2020), are currently the only Green Key certified sites in the English-Speaking Caribbean.
Green Key is an international voluntary eco-label awarded to tourism accommodations and other hospitality facilities that commit to sustainable business practices, and are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. This designation signals to tourists that these establishments adhere to strict criteria as stipulated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), empowering potential guests to help make a difference in regards to sustainability and environmental protection with their choice.
Owner and nanager of Adventure Eco Villas Ean Mackay is joined by a member of staff to accept the Green Key Award from Michelle Lewis of Green T&T and Kirsten Cowie-Irvine of TTAL.
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) manages the execution of Green Key in Tobago in partnership with national programme coordinator Green T&T. Representatives of both organisations visited the winning properties on September 23 and 24 to deliver the well-earned awards to the property owners, and deliver heartfelt congratulations.
Ancil Dennis, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly and Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, also extended his congratulations to the awardees stating: “I must commend the management and staff of both properties for the considerable work put into ensuring that they operate within the highest standards of environmental awareness, conservation and sustainability. Despite the myriad of challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have certainly persevered to increase the value of their offerings.
The awards came on the verge of World Tourism Day 2021 celebrations which has as its theme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”.
TTAL partnered with environmental NGO Green T&T and local tourism stakeholders to initiate the LEAF (Learning About Forests) “plant a tree for peace” programme in Tobago on September 23 during the lead-up to World Tourism Day.
Students from the Black Rock Government School plant trees at King’s Bay.
LEAF is an environmental education and conservation programme for school children in sustainable-minded destinations across the world, including Tobago. The tree planting initiative took place at two of Tobago’s three Blue Flag pilot beaches—Bloody Bay and the Mt Irvine.
Officials from TTAL’s Product Development and Destination Management team joined up with Green T&T, students from the Black Rock Government School, officials from the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, and Captain Kirth from Top Catch High-Speed Catamaran to plant trees provided by the Division of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries.