New alliance focuses on destination sustainability

By Gay Nagle Myers
The Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) launched on Thursday, to guide Caribbean and Latin American destinations toward sustainable development.

The alliance includes the Organization of American States (OAS), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Sustainable Travel International, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the U.S. Permanent Mission to the OAS.

Each participating destination will begin with an evaluation of management practices to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. Destinations will have access to an online course to help implement sustainable practices.

The aim is for destinations to follow the implementation of similar pilot programs in Cozumel, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Permanent Mission to the OAS and by Royal Caribbean through its Ocean Fund.

Royal Caribbean also launched a Destinations for Tomorrow toolkit, an online resource for destinations that want to complete sustainability assessments.

CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said that partnerships between governments, NGOs and the private sector are the ideal way to pursue sustainable tourism.
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