Latest News from Antigua and Barbuda

Planting “Trees of Love” on World Tourism Day

(St. John’s Antigua, September 27, 2010) Tourism and Biodiversity, is the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) celebration today. The Ministry of Tourism, Antigua and Hotels and Tourism Association (AHTA), and the Environmental Division have come together to focus on two main areas: reforestation and coastal conservation, in an effort to raise public awareness about the mutual interdependency of biodiversity and tourism.
Following an island wide volunteer coastal cleanup last Saturday which celebrated the 25th Anniversary of International Coastal Cleanup Day, the Ministry of Tourism embarked on a tree planting drive in an effort to bring greater awareness to how tree planting and reforestation can impact biodiversity.

Following up on an initiative dubbed “Planting Trees of Love,” the Ministry of Tourism invited CNN’s Tony Harris, who is vacationing on the island, to plant a tree at the American University of Antigua (AUA) campus. The award winning anchor man who recently did a week long special on the “State of Education in the United States” was excited to see an off-shore American university operating in the Caribbean. Harris will lend his name to the destination's environmental initiatives and will endorse AUA as a socially responsible corporate partner to the cause of Tourism and Biodiversity. Given the large international audience that Harris reaches daily, this initiative is expected to yield positive outcomes for the both Antigua and Barbuda and the AUA in their outreach and promotional efforts.

Harris is passionate about youth development and environmental preservation, and was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the initiative “Planting Trees of Love.” The award winning journalist who has a growing affection for the twin island destination said, “I am happy to leave my mark in Antigua and Barbuda in celebration of World Tourism Day and Biodiversity. Antigua is a beautiful destination and by having the AUA here it is a great asset to your tourism industry. Therefore, let us all join forces to preserve Antigua and Barbuda and a preserve the planet. ”

Harris was warmly welcomed by students and he encouraged them as future leaders to focus on how their individual actions can help protect Antigua and Barbuda. Scores of students lined up to get a photo or autograph from Mr. .Harris before did a tour of the state of the art campus.
Harris then joined Tourism officials in planting a tree on the school campus to commemorate the World Tourism Day theme of Tourism and Biodiversity.

Director of Tourism Derede Samuel-Whitlock indicated that the Ministry of Tourism was pleased to plant a tree on the campus of the AUA. “This symbolizes the growing relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and AUA. With the USA being the largest source market for visitor arrivals to Antigua and Barbuda, The Ministry of Tourism sees the students and faculty of the AUA as part of “the promotional arm of the destination.” They can play a key role and help spread the word about Antigua and Barbuda to their friends and family and help support the continued growth of our tourism product.”
The theme Tourism and Biodiversity is particularly pertinent in 2010. Concerned by the continued loss of biological diversity, the United Nations Assembly declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. The year coincides with the target adopted by governments in 2002, to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss.

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For further information contact:

Kimberley Bowers
Marketing Manager, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority
Tel: 1 268 562 7600
Fax: 1 268 562 7600
[email protected]

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