The Bahamas Honoured with the Caribbean Destination Resilience Award by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association

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The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation

NASSAU, The Bahamas – 21 May 2024 – The Bahamas has been awarded the prestigious Caribbean Destination Resilience Award by the Caribbean Hotel and Touris Association (CHTA) in collaboration with the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST). This award is a testament to The Bahamas’ unwavering commitment to sustainability and resilience in tourism, aligning with the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Caribbean Destination Resilience Award acknowledges destinations that exhibit a deliberate focus on resiliency, particularly through innovative strategies and collaborative efforts that engage both public and private sector stakeholders. The Bahamas’ exemplary initiatives in addressing climate change and fostering sustainabl development have set a benchmark in the region, making it a deserving recipient of this honour.

The Bahamas competed in Category A, for destinations with over 500,000 annual stopover visitors. The judging criteria encompassed five main themes: Commitments to Partnership and Collaboration, Sustainable/Resiliency Related Activities, Innovation an Technology, Linkages and External Engagement, and Contribution of Initiatives to Tourism.

The Bahamas’ winning submission showcased the resilience of the Abacos post-Hurricane Dorian and highlighted the destination’s strategic use of collaborative partnerships. These efforts not only facilitated the region’s reconstruction but also emphasized the importance of preserving its natural and cultural heritage. Through this balance, the Abacos ensure that visitors have memorable experiences that honour the environment and uplift local communities.

The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation for The Bahamas, said: “The Caribbean Destination Resilience Award is a real achievement for the Abacos, and the thanks go out to the many public and private entities that have come together and worked in partnership to make sustainable tourism a priority to preserve, protect, and promote the area as a travel destination with a strong future. From mangrove restoration to energy conservation, and the promotion of community-based tourism activities that celebrate the islands, the Abacos are proof positive that collaboration is the way to address the important issues of the day.”

Across the Abacos, organizations such as The Abacos Stewardship Council, Friends of the Environment and the Bahamas National Trust worked with NGOs and other community organizations to collectively address a number of issues across the destination including sustainable reconstruction, environmental restoration and community empowerment. This model demonstrated use of unparalleled strategies necessary for developing a sustainable future.

“We are immensely proud of The Abacos for receiving the CHTA Destination Resilience Award,” added Latia Duncombe, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. “This recognition is a testament to the unwavering spirit and dedication of the Abaco community and our partner organizations in championing sustainable tourism and resilience. The Abacos have not only recovered but have become a beacon of inspiration for sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.”

The Caribbean Destination Resilience Award highlights best practices in the region, serving as an inspiration for other destinations to adopt similar collaborative and innovative approaches to sustainability. The Bahamas’ recognition underscores its leadership in the Caribbean’s tourism sector, setting a high standard for resiliency and sustainable development.