Press Release - "CAST National Coordinator Named for AHATA"
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CAST National Coordinator Named for AHATA
(October 31, 2000; Aruba) The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable
Tourism (CAST) and the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA)
announced yesterday that they have joined efforts to create a CAST
National Coordinator position to facilitate direct contact with
Aruban hoteliers. The Coordinator is based in the AHATA offices in
Aruba, and is expected to affect hotel operations in the region by
moving local hotels forward in their sustainable efforts by involving
hoteliers, environmental groups, suppliers and government officials.
St. Lucian national Michael Salton was chosen as the first National
Coordinator in Aruba. It is expected that the presence of Salton, a
Marine Biologist with a Master's in Environmental Biology, will
benefit the local industry. Aruba is the second Caribbean
destination to have a national Coordinator. The Dominican Republic
was attributed this title last year, when Ainoa Luna was positioned
in the ASONAHORES office to assist local hoteliers.
Creating awareness through tourism and environmental activities and
projects, serving as a direct liaison between hotel association and
environmental forums and the developing environmental platforms at
National Hotel Association events are amongst services to be provided
by the National Coordinators. The local delivery of training
programs and audits will also represent an added value to AHATA's
"Aruba has always been an environmentally proactive Caribbean
destination. CAST has done multiple training programs on topics such
as renewable energy, housekeeping, and waste management, amongst
others in Aruba", commented Kelly Robinson, CAST Director. "We are
looking forward to much success for the Aruban hotel industry with
the creation of this new position".
CAST is a non-profit membership based program that delivers
practical, hands-on services to hoteliers. Its mission is to
enhance the region's hotel and tourism operators by offering high
quality education and training related to sustainable tourism. CAST
also promotes the industry's efforts and successes to the traveling
public and other stakeholders and serves as a vital link to all
stakeholders with sustainable tourism interests in the Wider
Caribbean Region. CAST offers its members cost savings through more
efficient energy, water, and solid waste management. It adds
marketing impacts, generated by news and features released to
international media as well as recognition of hotel's proactive
stance by tour operators.
Those hotels that choose to become members of CAST can conduct a
self-audit, measuring their current performance against the industry
benchmarks. Once the hotel has decided on a plan of priority action,
CAST provides the materials and training necessary to help hoteliers
achieve these green operational standards. Services include
publications, signage, best practice videos, workshops, energy and
water audits, technical support, a directory of environmentally
friendly hospitality supplies available in the Caribbean, and
on-going publicity of their environmental activities.
Membership in CAST also includes international affiliations with IHEI
and GREEN GLOBE 21 programs. Liaisons with global programs are
essential to the success of regional initiatives. IHEI provides CAST
with researched materials, publications, and a system of networking
that would otherwise be out of the grasp of regional resources.
Green Globe 21 serves as a marketing mechanism-sensitizing hoteliers
and consumers worldwide as to the importance of choosing an
environmentally responsible travel destinations. GREEN GLOBE 21
endorses the CAST programs and services of CAST, while offering an
international benchmark so which Caribbean tourism businesses aspire.
Aruba is also on its way to becoming one of the regional leaders in
the regional Green Globe 21 certification program. Amsterdam Manor
Beach Resort was the first hotel to receive the international
recognition in the country. Bucuti Beach Resort and Costa Linda
Beach Resort are currently in the process of being certified and hope
to be before the end of the year. La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino is
also in the process of obtaining the Green Globe 21 Certification. La
Cabana will work closely with Michael Salton to try to accomplish
this early next year. He will be based out of La Cabana and will have
full use of all facilities. Having Michael as Environmental
Coordinator will benefit all CAST-members, and he will surely add
more members to the EBA-CAST list.
CAST helps to improve and sustain the Caribbean tourism product. "We
believe that the implementation of these programs can be a reality
only at a local level, and with Michael Salton at AHATA we expect to
achieve just that", commented Robinson, who has seen her staff grow
from two to seven in less than a year.
"If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted on the
- Neil Simon, American Playwright; 1927