THE World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the 15 finalists for its 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the five categories: Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People, and a local charter company Jus’ Sail is in the mix.
The 15 finalists, which were chosen after a rigorous judging process, showcase the highest level of sustainability practices within the Travel & Tourism sector.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme celebrates business leadership that works towards a more sustainable future of our sector by educating and inspiring governments, travellers and other tourism businesses.
The 2016 Awards saw applications from 62 countries across all continents. Following the first phase of the three stage judging process all applications have now been carefully evaluated by a committee of independent expert judges against established sustainable tourism criteria, which include community development, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, and innovative solutions for sustainable practices.
The second phase will see on-site evaluation of each finalist by international sustainable tourism experts, assessing the organisations and the business practices they have highlighted in their application. Following the evaluations the winners of each category will be chosen by a further panel of leading authorities in sustainability. The winners will be announced during the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Ceremony at the 16th WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, Texas on April 7.
Jus’ Sail, based in Rodney Bay Marina, is extremely proud to be one of three finalists in the “People” category of the WTTC “Tourism for Tomorrow Awards” and the only Caribbean business within the 15 finalists. The owners of Jus’ Sail husband and wife team – James and Pepsi Crockett entered the awards to highlight the work of Jus’ Sail in youth development through the Jus’ Sail Youth Training Programme which empowers unemployed youth and helps them gain employment through training, certification and work experience, with the goal being full time employment and a significant increase in awareness of local environmental issues, self-confidence, self-esteem and focus upon building a rewarding and satisfying career.
To date Jus’ Sail has approximately 25 alumni working in various businesses across the marine sector and wider tourism industry on the island. The benefits of the programme are, however, more wide reaching than just work within the yachting industry with graduates being better able to utilise transferrable skills across any walk of life that they choose to follow.
Jus’ Sail wishes to thank all its supporters who help make the programme possible and the volunteers who offer their time and expertise to impart knowledge and inspiration to the students. Without whom none of it would be possible.
Jus’ Sail is particularly excited to be flying the flag for not just the company or St Lucia but the whole of the Eastern Caribbean at the WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, April 6-7, 2016.
James Crockett commented: “Despite being the most tourism dependent region in the world the Caribbean often lags behind other destinations in the area of sustainable and responsible tourism practices. This is something that the small island nations must get a better handle on if they are to remain competitive and relevant within the fast evolving international tourism industry and if they are to deliver long term sustainable economic and social benefits to the wider population.
Vitally, if the populations of the islands are to maximise their benefits from tourism there must be much greater focus placed upon human resource development within the youth so that they can leverage the opportunities that tourism offers. To this end Jus’ Sail also wishes to also acknowledge the commitment of the SLHTA and its apprenticeship programme and Ministry of Education Youth Skills Development Programme, both of which Jus’ Sail are playing a part in, as steps in the right direction.”
Jus’ Sail is therefore proud to play a small role with its limited resources to promote youth empowerment and a more responsible tourism industry within St Lucia and encourages others to take up the challenge as well.