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OAS and Private and Public Sectors Unite to Promote Sustainable Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

  March 27, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS), in coordination with other public and private institutions that work in tourism promotion and development, launched today the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA), an initiative created to help tourism destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean to safeguard their natural and cultural assets, while enhancing the life of communities and securing a vibrant regional economy.

The new Alliance includes the OAS, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Central American Secretariat for Integration, the global non-governmental organization “Sustainable Travel International,” Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and the United States Government through its permanent mission to the OAS. The presentation was held in St. Michael, Barbados.

The SDAA will initially offer seven destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America in its sustainability efforts. Each participating destination will begin with an evaluation of destination management practices designed to recognize areas of strength and to identify areas that have the greatest opportunity to improve. Destinations will also have access to an online sustainable tourism course entitled “Sustainable Tourism Professionals,” designed to facilitate the implementation of sustainability practices, and to a destination sustainability monitoring framework called SMART, which will support the tracking of key performance metrics.

The SDAA initiative, which will become a critical component of the OAS Sustainable Tourism Program, demonstrates the close inter-agency cooperation between the Organization and its regional partners, as well as the strong involvement of key stakeholders such as the private sector.

In the context of the launching of the Alliance, the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Sherry Tross, explained that “for the OAS it is important that these issues remain as an integral part of the sustainable tourism policy dialogue, so we can respond effectively to the needs of our member states.”

The CTO Secretary General, Hugh Riley, acknowledged that multisectoral partnerships are the ideal way to pursue sustainable tourism. “This initiative supports our mandate to establish best practices in sustainable tourism,” he said.

The United States Ambassador in Barbados, Larry L. Palmer, noted, “We are proud to facilitate the strengthening of the tourism industry in the Caribbean and Central America to ensure that our region meets the highest sustainable tourism standards.”

The Vice President of Environmental and Public Health Programs at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Rich Pruitt, asserted that “it is crucial that companies look at ways they can have a positive impact in the places where they do business.”

The Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean at Sustainable Travel International, Seleni Matus, said that “destination stewardship is a shared responsibility, and we are delighted to bring together these organizations across sectors in a way that will maximize regional impact.”

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-115/14