By Kevon Browne
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): During an interview with WINN, Chairperson of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, Diannille Taylor-Williams highlighted a few of the plans for the Sustainable Destination Council for the rest of 2020 and beyond.
“For us, we are working right now on what we call the Heart of St. Kitts Sustainability Charter, which gives businesses an opportunity to tell their sustainable tourism story.”
The Charter was originally launched in 2016 with the Heart of St. Kitts foundation, a travel philanthropy program raising funds to give back to communities
“We have been updating it to make sure that includes the current situation with COVID and anything else that might come in future. Because that’s what sustainability is about to go beyond any disaster that might come up. What are you putting in place?”
Taylor-Williams highlighted that giving back does not have to be financial in nature.
“So yes, they might not be able to contribute financially to the Heart of St. Kitts foundation, but every hour or every minute that a person gives in their time has a value of monetary value. And that’s what we do in the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation; we put the monetary value to people’s time.”
Additionally, November is Tourism awareness month in the federation and Taylor-Williams indicated that there will be a number of activities
“… it’s a scaled-back version of our usual tourism month of activities. But you’re still going to be things that the public can participate in, whether face to face or virtually, and will also be using the opportunity to build capacity within the ministry…”
Next year the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council will continue the plastic-free campaign, a project expected to span the next five years.
“We have certain goals that we have put in place we’re now calling it “Plastic be Gone”.
In 2017 the council conducted a resident satisfaction survey as it pertains to tourism and found that people in rural areas felt a little more disconnected than those in the urban areas
“We also have a new project that we’re hoping to roll out where we have more consultations with the people in, well; we’re started in rural area because of the theme from this year’s …world tourism day. Getting these rural communities involved and not only because of the theme.
Taylor-Williams is hopeful that next year the project will be off the ground.
“We can have more sustainability messaging, reaching to people and showing them how all of us are part of this picture. And if something is removed it affects the entire picture, so we don’t do things like that.
She expressed hopes of a collaboration with the Department of Culture to do a small project related to intangible cultural heritage
“We’re hoping by 2025 we would be able to show the public and even before then ’cause we will have milestones along the way. But 2025 we have a vision of the St. Kitts that we want to see.”