World Tourism Day 2012 – Message by the Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization; Hugh Riley

On September 27th we at the Caribbean Tourism Organization join the rest of the world in observing World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrated this year under the theme, “Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development.”

As an organization with responsibility to provide leadership in regional tourism, our duty is to emphasize the need for more renewable energy technologies in operations throughout the tourism sector and to encourage the widespread adoption of energy efficiency as a way of life.

{FILE IMAGEUWI, MAY 2012} Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization: Hugh Riley – “World Tourism Day seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching those goals. Let us collectively work towards achieving a sustainable tourism product, and in the end a sustainable future for us and for the generations to come.

Both in our own countries and at an organization level, we must use the occasion to participate in activities which promote sustainable development.

Let our actions and practices raise awareness of the need for improving energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that can enhance our competitiveness in the tourism industry. The more we reduce our dependency on expensive, traditional sources of energy the more we will help to secure our future.

Let us remember the purpose of World Tourism Day, which is to raise awareness of the role of tourism within the international community, an objective that is aimed at demonstrating the effect which tourism has on political, economic and social values worldwide.

Here in our region, as we move further in the direction of sustainable energy as a tool for attaining sustainable development, we must constantly examine our own energy consumption habits on a daily basis and do whatever we can to influence practices and behaviours that will sustain our livelihood and protect the planet.

We at the Caribbean Tourism Organization will continue to advocate the need for efficient use of resources to derive economic, environmental, and social benefits, and to stress the importance of developing and implementing more responsible energy practices.

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