Innovators Symposium in Grenada: Join in Sharing Passion for Sustainable Tourism

(Washington, DC) 5 June 2014: Over 40 international tourism experts will speak on various aspects of sustainable coastal and marine tourism at the 3rd Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism, taking place July 9-11 in St. George’s, Grenada. Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. The Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, and Grenada Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Angus Friday, will speak at the opening plenary on the impacts of climate change on coastal tourism. The Symposium will be officially opened Wednesday evening, July 9 by Grenada’s Tourism Minister, Alexandra Otway-Noel.

In keeping with its commitment to lead sustainable tourism on behalf of its members, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is partnering with Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Grenada’s Ministry of Tourism, and the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association to organize the Symposium, which will serve as a platform for cutting edge innovations in coastal and marine tourism.

“We are really pleased to be working with CTO and Grenada to bring the first Innovators Symposium to the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism intensive region,” says Dr. Martha Honey, CREST Co-Director. “The Symposium is showcasing leading innovators and solutions to ensure tourism protects the environment and benefits local communities.” CREST has hosted previous Innovators Symposiums in Mexico (2013) and at Stanford University (2010).

At the Grenada Symposium, 100 to 150 participants from across the Americas will also explore challenges to the wider adoption of sustainable tourism models. The three-day event will feature 16 workshops and five plenary sessions that will cover an extensive range of topics, including:

  • Climate change mitigation and adaption for coastal tourism
  • Financing sustainable tourism
  • ‘Greening’ marinas, spas, golf courses and vacation homes
  • Impacts and innovations of cruise tourism
  • Travelers’ philanthropy
  • Sustainable practices and design in boutique hotels, large coastal resorts, and vacation homes
  • Documentary films on coastal tourism

The Symposium is also featuring two special events for delegates before the official opening. On Wednesday, July 9, international delegates will be able to participate in a field trip to visit key tourism attractions and a local Eco-Expo, while delegates from Grenada are invited to attend the “Roundtable on Sustainable Options for Conservation in Grenada”, which is being hosted by The Nature Conservancy.

Delegates will stay in four of Grenada’s leading eco-boutique resorts and the proceedings will

be held mainly at St. George’s University.

For registration and Symposium details and updates (programme, speakers, field trips,

sponsorship, etc.), go to: For questions and more information contact CREST representative, Samantha Hogenson at or 202-347-9203, ext. 414 or Director of CTO USA, Sylma Brown at or 212-635-9530.

In addition to the official host organizations, a growing number of international and Grenadian organizations and businesses are providing support as sponsors. These include:

Platinum Sponsors:

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

St. George’s University

Workshop Sponsors:

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

GIZ-ICCAS Project in Grenada

[ICCAS is funded by the German Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the Government of Grenada, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and UNDP.]

Coffee Break Sponsors:

Puntacana Resort & Club

The Travel Foundation

The Ocean Foundation

True Blue Bay Resort

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism - One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail:

CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail:;

CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail:;

For more information on the CTO, please visit

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About the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST):

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a unique non-profit organization affiliated with Stanford University, devoted to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. Founded in 2003, CREST functions as a bi-coastal institute, with offices in Washington, DC, and at Stanford University in California.

CREST stands alone in the areas of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism, having built an international network of highly-trained experts providing interdisciplinary analysis and solutions, as well as publications, conferences, courses, training, and educational workshops. CREST delivers programs and services in field research, feasibility and impact studies, market research, certification programs, traveler’s philanthropy and strengthening sustainable tourism and ecotourism. CREST’s mission is to promote responsible tourism policies and practices globally so that local communities may thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity.

The rapid pace of resort and vacation home developments along coastlines and on islands is contributing to a variety of environmental and social issues. CREST has sought to critically address these through research and analysis of the coastal tourism sector – the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry – in order to lessen the social and environmental impact of these developments, and increase the benefits for local communities on the coast.

CREST has extensive experience examining and providing policy recommendations to the coastal tourism sector including several reports and publications: 1) “Alternative Development Models & Good Practices for Sustainable Coastal Tourism: A Framework for Decision Makers in Mexico”, a report which compiles existing best practices for sustainable, large-scale coastal tourism developments in Mexico, and provides recommendations for implementation at the policy level; 2) “The Impact of Tourism Related Development along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast”, a multi-dimensional study which critically assesses the growth, trends and impacts of tourism and tourism related development along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast; 3) “Global Trends in Coastal Tourism”, a study funded by WWF, which analyzes global trends in coastal and marine tourism; 4) “Cruise Tourism Impacts in Costa Rica & Honduras: Policy Recommendations for Decision Makers” and “Cruise Tourism in Belize: Perceptions of Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts”, two reports which take a critical look at the impacts of the cruise tourism industry in Central America.

For more information about CREST, please visit or contact

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