2002 IHIF Sustainable Tourism Pioneer Award Honors CHA's 40 Years Of Leadership, Cast's Green Practices

Prestigious International Tourism Award Given for Safeguarding and Implementing Environmentally Healthy Policies.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (April, 2002) — Green Globe 21 and the International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI) have honored the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and its environmental arm, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), with the IHIF Sustainable Tourism Pioneer Award 2002 for their longstanding commitment to the sustainable development of Caribbean Tourism. The recognition was presented to CHA and CAST during the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) held in Berlin, Germany.

“CHA and CAST accept the IHIF award on behalf of all the members of our Caribbean hospitality family, with the commitment to continue supporting and working to maintain the Caribbean as one of the most sustainable, highly regarded and sought-after destinations in the world,” declared John Bell, Director General and CEO of CHA. “Now more than ever, the members of the Caribbean hospitality industry have to pursue an increasingly higher level of competitiveness through sustainable development, so that the Caribbean economies are able to realize their fair share of the changing macro economy.”

Caribbean Hotel Association
CHA was established 40 years ago as a body to represent the common interests of the Caribbean hotel sector. Over the years, the association has embraced a wide range of issues critical to enhance the Caribbean experience and the industry’s competitiveness, such as human resource development, advocacy, and sustainable tourism development. To drive these efforts, CHA established a host of programs, including: Caribbean Tourism Credentialing Program (CTCP), Caribbean Culinary Federation (CCF), Caribbean Hospitality Training Institute (CHTI), and Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST). As a result of this whole range of initiatives, CHA has become over time the recognized representative of the Caribbean hospitality industry, as well as THE private sector developmental partner by international agencies active in the region, such as the European Union, IDB, OAS, and USAID.

Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism
Through CAST, CHA is able to manage the necessary environmental activities required for the region's success. CAST is a non-profit organization born of the CHA Environmental Committee in 1997. It undertakes collaborative environmental activities and initiatives within the hotel and tourism sector, promotes effective management of natural resources and provides access to expertise in operational efficiencies and sustainable tourism. CAST is committed to preventing the degradation of the environment and ensuring the continued prosperity of the Caribbean region through the appropriate use of water, energy, land and marine resources. CAST is also the link to the private sector in communicating challenges which impact the Caribbean, by identifying and promoting solutions to these challenges to owners and operators of hotels and tourism businesses.

CAST offers practical training, seminars, publications and technical services to Caribbean hoteliers. For its immense success in promoting a higher and healthier Caribbean experience, year after year CAST is voted by CHA members as one of CHA’s most valuable resources.

For more information about the CHA and CAST, please contact Lorraine J. Ortiz or Mabel Sanabria, CHA/CAST, 1000 Ponce de León Ave., 5th Floor, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907; T 787.725.9139 / Fax 787.725.9108; email: lortiz@caribbeanhotels.org or msanabria@caribbeanhotels.org