Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) EARTH DAY MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT KAROLIN TROUBETZKOY

This Earth Day, April 22, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) joins the
worldwide celebrations.

Earth Day’s theme this year, “End Plastic Pollution,” is especially relevant for CHTA because
preventing or removing plastic pollution remains a big challenge for many of our tourism
enterprises and in fact, for many of our island destinations at large.

We recently saw the “plasticberg” of garbage that drifted into parts of our pristine
Caribbean Sea, underscoring the plastic pollution that already spoils some of our beaches.
So, it is even more urgent that we come together in a smart partnership with all sectors and
communities to clean out the plastic pollution and ensure clean and pristine waters
dominate the million square miles that comprise the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), CHTA’s nonprofit affiliate, continues
to offer tourism enterprises and communities sustainability resources and share best
practices to end the irresponsible dumping of plastics across the Caribbean.

On the occasion of Earth Day, CHTA is pleased to announce the planned introduction of a
new section in the CHTA website’s Knowledge Center, dedicated to research, best practices
and practical information to help guide hoteliers, their employees and guests in better
understanding how they can help reduce the harmful effects from the proliferation of
plastics.

As Earth Day organizers note, the alarming growth of plastics is now threatening the survival
of not only our beautiful Caribbean, but also our planet as we know it, with effects ranging
from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, and from littering
our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills in the constrained
space of our islands.

This Earth Day, we encourage our members to dedicate themselves to generating the
inspiration and information needed to fundamentally change human attitudes and
behaviors about plastics and motivate their team members, their families and communities
to take personal responsibility for the plastic pollution that each one of us generates by
choosing to reject or reduce plastics and to reuse and recycle where possible.
CHTA salutes its tourism enterprises that have successfully reduced the use of plastic in
their operations, with creative alternatives to plastics for food containers, cutlery, cups and
straws and the introduction of reusable water bottles. We also salute the destinations that
have already begun to ban plastic checkout bags for groceries or other merchandise. By
sharing these successes we hope to encourage and inspire more business to find plastic-free
solutions.
To be successful, we need a Caribbean strategy that can fit into the Earth Day Network’s
global framework to regulate such pollution, in particular in our tourism and hospitality
sectors. Let’s encourage our governments, our hotels and tourism businesses to be leaders
in keeping plastics out of our seas, and also engage with the cruise and airline industries to
eliminate plastic waste.

Together, we can exhort universities, schools, school teachers and students to end plastic
pollution throughout our islands.

Our fourth annual Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), the premier
educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals (from June 22-24,
2018, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami) will be an excellent forum to take this discussion to
another level.

CHTA and CAST support the Earth Day Network’s mission to diversify, educate and activate
the environmental movement worldwide.

 

About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association
representing tourism interests for national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 50
years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working together
with 1,000 hotel and allied members and 32 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping
the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether navigating
new worlds like social media, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, data
and intelligence or looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses,
CHTA is helping members on matters that matter most.
For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

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