Today is World Tourism Day. The UNWTO has declared this year’s theme to be “Tourism and Rural Development.”

At See the Caribbean™ we know and fully recognize the power of tourism to drive positive change in the world and to transform the lives of locals across the globe. In spite of all the concerns that tourism brings with it, from overtourism to environmental abuses, the last six months of pandemic have also shown how much the travel industry upholds our global connection as human beings, as well as economies, and the well-being of the environment, while deepening our knowledge of the world and ourselves. When it’s done right.

For the Caribbean, tourism is its lifeline. Think about this: eight out of 10 of the world’s most tourism dependent nations are located in this region.

When travel resumes then, even if in trickles in 2021 and in predicted larger numbers in 2022, it is my hope that you will have taken the time to reflect on where and how you’ll spend your vacation dollars in the Caribbean. Not so much which Caribbean destination you choose, but how you’ll support and give back to the destination you’re visiting through the purchasing decisions you make in terms of hotels, tours, food and entertainment.

Like most, you’re probably already willing, yet unsure where to start. In fact, one of the most frequent questions I receive is: what does sustainable travel to the Caribbean mean exactly? I gave a brief overview recently in a webinar hosted by Impact Travel Alliance, where I serve as Senior Strategist.

But I realized that there needs to be a clearer guideline; something you can refer back to and review, as well as share every time you travel to the Caribbean.

So in honor of World Tourism Day 2020, especially during such a challenging time, I’m thrilled to share with you the new See the Caribbean™ Green Travel Code: 10 Sustainable Travel Principles ( “CSTPs”) that serve as a guideline for travelers who are planning future trips to the Caribbean.

Click on the image to view.

While travel is currently limited and you cannot yet go into communities and fully immerse, for example, you can still find some of these CSTPs applicable to your stay until the pandemic is fully under control.

Take the time pre-trip to read through every single one and see how it might apply to your decisions both before you travel and while in the destination.

Print the PDF version below to take with you or keep it handy in your mobile. When you return, sign the pledge and share it as an image on social media with check marks beside the principles you observed during your stay. How many principles do you think you could you observe?

The next time you hear someone wondering: how do I travel to the Caribbean but in a more sustainable manner? All you have to do is direct them to this page so they can read See the Caribbean’s Green Travel Code, and then sign it like a pledge – electronically or in print.

Will you sign it today and share it?

I raise my glass to all my colleagues and friends on the ground in the Caribbean who have been pushing this message of conscious travel for decades, who are sticking it out in tough times, who may have lost loved ones, and who continue to believe in the gift of cultural exchange and in the magic of celebrating our planet, while having a positive impact.

I hope you’ll join our movement.

Lily | Founder of See the Caribbean™

*See the Caribbean Green Travel Code was written and produced by Lebawit Lily Girma, and is copyright protected. To republish on any commercial website, you must request express permission – get in touch here.

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