St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council

 In Solutions

The Sustainable Destination Council (SDC) serves as an advisory council for the Ministry of Tourism, with the aim to increase opportunities for locals and tourists to act as destination stewards, and has the influence over the island of St. Kitts including rural areas, the popular tourist area of the Southern Peninsula and the highly populated capital city of Basseterre. The Council instills sustainable tourism understanding across public and private sectors, builds agencies’ capacity to incorporate sustainability into daily operations, creates opportunities for increased collaboration. The SDC raises awareness, creates a network of stewardship-focused businesses and improves coordination of enterprises in sustainable business practices. SDC supports community groups in the implementation of projects to address destination priorities. The council is made up of 8 strategy members that steer projects and working groups of an additional 25 members. Council members are key destination decision-makers, liaising with stakeholders in the wider community. Monitoring includes a biannual tourism satisfaction resident survey to better understand residents’ perceptions of the tourism industry, interest in participation and the role of tourism in protecting natural and cultural heritage. SDC creates invaluable opportunities for collaboration and engages stakeholders on multiple levels. It provides a platform for locals, businesses and visitors to have a voice in, and contribute to, destination stewardship. The Council puts emphasis on environmental project implementation such as marine and coastal conservation and reforestation. Natural resource use and waste management and conservation awareness campaigns have been priority projects for the Council. Rails-to-trails project (re-purposing of the old sugar railway into a multi-recreational trail for tourists and residents) will encompass the environmental, social and historical heart of St. Kitts, fostering community tourism while highlighting and protecting the cultural heritage of ‘Sugar City.’

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