THE BOTTOM- The island of Saba, also known as “The Unspoiled Queen”, has successfully applied for recognition of its sustainability policy and achievements through the Green Destinations Award program. This program certifies and promotes sustainable tourist destinations at an international level in accordance with environmental, socio-economic and cultural criteria.
After a period of extensive preparation and reporting of substantive dossiers covering more than 100 sustainability criteria and indicators, and an independent audit, the Silver QualityCoast Award level was attributed to Saba indicating excellence in all fields of sustainable destination management such as nature and heritage conservation, waste management, energy and climate.
The award is also a recognition for the destinations’ efforts to sustain the attractiveness of its tourism in the future. Not only visible, tangible aspects are measured, such as natural heritage, but also policy and management plans that take sustainable development principles into account.
‘Saba is a tranquil and safe destination, providing an authentic experience. Attracting visitors that are eco-conscious and that seek green destinations that have such a prestigious rating. Due to its small scale and low numbers of visitors, many of the challenges that other Caribbean islands face are not an issue on Saba. As one of the improvements for the future, it was recommended to monitor tourism impact in the broadest sense and to further create plans and policy concerning sustainable tourism’, Green Destinations motivated its decision. The Tourism Master Plan, currently being drafted, can help set the right priorities and targets.
Over the last two years with the pandemic the tourism sector faced lots of challenges. “We are honoured that Saba has maintained its Silver status and we look forward to apply the recommendations also to stimulate partners to include and promote good environmental practices as it’s a collective effort and continue to demonstrate our environmental efforts as the Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean,” said Director of Tourism Malinda Hassell.
Saba was listed in the 2018 Sustainable destinations Global Top 100 in recognition of its efforts towards responsible tourism and distinctive appeal. Saba was also in the Top 100 in 2017. Maintaining the Green Destinations Silver Award is a major step-up towards fully evidence-based and independently verified certification of sustainability performance in accordance with international standards dictated by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The Award will be officially presented on September 27th, 2022.
About Green Destinations
The Green Destinations Award & Certification Program challenges destinations (municipalities, regions, protected areas and private estates) to promote responsible destination management on an ongoing and sustained basis with the aim of stimulating the tourism sector to implement environmental practices leading.
Participating destinations engage in a sustainability management system, with every 2 years an independent verification of performance and progress, and recommendations for improvements. Green Destinations Certification is accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). More information: www.greendestinations.org