Wednesday 14th February, 2018 – A Tourism Destination Stewardship Committee has been established by Cabinet with the aim of ensuring the implementation of the destination’s sustainability projects through the provision of technical and strategic advice.
Vashti Ramsey Casimir, Senior Technical Officer within the Ministry of Tourism in the Sustainable Tourism Department is Chairperson of the committee, which is now in the final stages of formation and will consist of one representative within the middle level management from agencies inclusive of The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, The Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourist Association encompassing small properties, The Small Grants Program and Non-Governmental Organizations. Other key partners on the TDSC are the Tour Operators and Taxi Associations, The National Parks Authority, The Departments of Environment and Energy, The Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, and The Community Development Division.
Destination stewardship involves creating balance in tourism destinations by engaging leaders from government, the private sector and NGO community through a collaborative process to embed wise policies and practices into all levels of tourism planning, development and management.
The Tourism Destination Stewardship Committee is part of the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) initiative, a Regional Project which Antigua and Barbuda is a part of. The formation of the TDSC in Antigua and Barbuda signals a commitment by the Government to support sustainable destination management efforts beyond the time zone of the SDAA.
The key pillars of Tourism Sustainability are destination management, community involvement and benefits, conservation of natural and cultural heritage and environmental protection.