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Enhancing Culture and Protecting Ecology Through Tourism

"Enhancing culture and conserving the environment are initiatives which Puerto Rico does extremely well and we want to see how the lessons can be spread to other parts of the Caribbean," said the head of an international development agency.

"Other Caribbean islands can learn from the Puerto Rico experience which is one of the reasons why we decided to locate the next CMEx (Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism) in San Juan," said the president of Counterpart International, Lelei LeLaulu.

The Puerto Rico gathering – May 17-21, 2007 – will be the 10th edition of the Media Exchange which gathers representatives of the tourism industry, government officials, media, youth delegates and development specialists to examine ways of using tourism to improve the health, wealth, environment and culture of destinations.

LeLaulu, who praised the Puerto Rico Tourism Company for leadership in promoting sustainable tourism development across the entire Caribbean region, said the territory's best practices can be adapted for many other parts of the region.

"Enhancing culture and protecting ecology through tourism" will dominate CMEx X, a four-day event which will attract some of the best minds in the region and beyond in the lively interactive format that is a hallmark of the CMEx series.

“A well-managed tourism industry can stimulate both economic and social development without compromising our natural and cultural resource base,” said Terestella González Denton, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “Sustainable tourism, in its purest sense, attempts to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems. Responsible tourism is both ecologically and culturally sensitive,” added González Denton who believes that challenges exist in the Caribbean in creating sustainable tourism models that take into account the preservation of the region's assets.

Journalists can apply for a limited number of fellowships (which cover airfare, accommodation and registration) to attend the event by visiting www.caribbeanmediaexchange.com and then clicking on "Registration Forms". The deadline for all applications is Thursday, March 15, 2007.

CMEx is an interactive workshop that allows journalists from the Caribbean, North America and Europe to interact with representatives of the hospitality sector and government and discuss tourism policies aimed at improving the lives of Caribbean people.

CMEx Puerto Rico, produced by Counterpart International, is sponsored and/or supported by the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, The Barbara Pyle Foundation, Bay Gardens Resorts, Black Entertainment Television (BET J), Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Hotel Association, Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Caribbean World News Network, Coco Resorts, Counterpart Caribbean and Ruder Finn.

Source: eTurboNews