Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) recognises and supports the Blue Flag and Green Key programmes of the Foundation for Environmental Education.
CHTA and the Foundation for Environmental Education have signed a Memorandum of Understanding recognising FEE’s Green Key and Blue Flag programmes in the Caribbean as well as CHTA’s sustainability initiatives. The document was signed on 29 January 2015 during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The Memorandum of Understanding between CHTA and FEE has been entered to recognise the hospitality and tourism sustainability initiatives in the Caribbean brought forward by FEE through the Green Key and Blue Flag programmes and by CHTA through the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) and programmes such as the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficient Action (CHENACT) programme.
The Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework of cooperation with a view to contributing to more effective attainment of common objectives of both CHTA and FEE. Both organisations have agreed to a long-term cooperative relationship for the purpose of identifying and developing programmes and activities such as the Blue Flag and Green Key programmes as well as the initiatives developed by CHTA and CAST to attain common objectives on sustainable tourism and environmental education. This will include joint projects and activities on a regional level as well as local destination levels across the Caribbean.
The Memorandum of Understanding recognises CAST as the main resource for Caribbean enterprises to obtain training, education and implementation guidance of sustainable tourism best practises specific to the Caribbean region with the following three strategic focus areas: advocacy, environmental management and sustainable tourism support. As part of the agreement, CHTA recognises FEE and its programmes for inclusion in its sustainable tourism initiatives such as the Blue Flag programme for beaches and marinas and the Green Key programmes for hotels and other tourism facilities. The agreement will also be used to identify future cooperation between the two organisations promoting sustainable tourism projects and raising environmental awareness.
“By signing this cooperative agreement with FEE, CHTA reaffirms its commitment to sustainable development”, said Emil Lee, President of CHTA. “Certainly protecting our environment and being a responsible industry are important reasons to support sustainable development”, he said, adding: “However, there are even more profound reasons to integrate green policies into everything we do. The Caribbean is our home. Additionally, being efficient is good for our environment, but being efficient is also good for profitability, which translates into stronger economies, better infrastructure and more jobs. The partnership gives CHTA members an excellent road map for our members to follow. We welcome cooperation with an organisation like FEE with its programmes to further strengthen the sustainability agenda in the tourism and hospitality sector in the Caribbean region.”
Jan Eriksen, President of FEE, adds: “We already have a history of successful cooperation with CHTA/CAST in connection with the implementation of the Blue Flag programme in the Caribbean starting 15 years ago and we are happy now to formalise it and extend it to also include our fast growing Green Key programme.”