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Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism Appoints
Deirdre Shurland Director; 
Seeks to Re-energize Environmental Programs
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (April 22, 2003) -- Royston O. Hopkin CMG, Chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), has announced the approval of a new strategic direction for the organization.  The CAST Business Plan 2003-2007, approved by the members of the CAST Governing Council during the Council's 6th Annual Meeting, held recently in Grenada, outlines a new approach to the issue of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.   "We are not seeking to reinvent the wheel," said CAST Chairman Royston Hopkin CMG, making reference to the host of successful programs and initiatives that CAST has driven in the region since its foundation in 1997, such as Green Globe 21 and Blue Flag Caribbean, among many.  "However, we felt it was important to re-energize CAST's work with Caribbean hotels and tourism establishments."   The resulting plan calls for the creation of positive impact through the implementation of an environmental improvement and recognition system based on existing environmental programs that are already operational in the industry. 

It is expected that the new initiatives will be launched at the Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC) 2003 to be held June 22-25, 2003, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

New Leadership:

The Governing Council also confirmed the appointment of Ms. Deirdre Shurland as CAST Director, and Ms. Kelly Robinson as Vice Chairman of the CAST Governing Council.  Both positions remained vacant as the Governing Council completed the reengineering process of the organization over the past six months.  "The Governing Council is thrilled with the appointment of Deirdre and Kelly.  They are true professionals that have proven their commitment to the cause of sustainable tourism in the region.  They will be 

Deirdre Shurland
the driving engines in this new phase of CAST's growth," concluded CAST Chairman Royston Hopkin CMG.

Deirdre Shurland joined the CAST family in 2002 as Senior Environmental Specialist, involved in the restructuring of the organization and its management systems and in redesigning its tourism and environmental management services.  A national of Trinidad & Tobago, Deirdre has more than thirteen years of experience in environmental management issues.  She has completed over 40 assignments in environmental audits, assessment and management systems in the Caribbean region in the areas of hotel/tourism and infrastructure development, parks and land use planning, institutional development and the industrial / manufacturing sectors.  Ms. Shurland has a degree from the University of the West Indies (Jamaica) in geology, with a master's degree in oceanography and a Graduate Diploma in Marine Affairs from Dalhousie University in Canada.  She is an American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Quality Manager.

Meanwhile, Kelly Robinson is well known in the Caribbean hospitality industry as CAST's first executive director.  In this capacity, she was responsible for CAST's early success, having overseen all aspects of its development and operations from 1997 until 2000, including strategic planning, fundraising, program development, and project management for the organization.  Today, she is the Corporate Director of Environmental & Social Affairs of Grupo Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.
The 6th Annual Meeting of the CAST Governing Council brought together members from a range of prestigious organizations committed to social and environmental responsibility in the Caribbean, such as American Express, Texaco/Chevron, PA Consulting, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

About the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST): 
CAST, a subsidiary of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), was chartered in 1997, and undertakes collaborative environmental efforts within the hotel industry, promotes effective management of natural resources and provides access to expertise in sustainable tourism, assisting hotel and tourism operations in the Caribbean to achieve environmentally responsible operations. CAST's mission is to lead in the sustainable development of the Caribbean by catalyzing the tourism and business communities and working with multi-sectoral partners to ensure social responsibility and environmental care for the benefit of its people and visitors.

About the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA): - CHA is dedicated to excellence in hospitality, leadership in marketing, and sustainable growth in tourism, to the benefit of its membership and that of the wider Caribbean community. The members of CHA represent the entire spectrum of hospitality industry's private sector, from over 1,100 member hotels in 35 national hotel associations, to allied members including airline executives, tour operators, travel agents, trade and consumer press, hotel and restaurant suppliers, and others. CHA is headquartered is in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and maintains an office in Miami, Florida.

Lorraine Ortiz-Valcárcel
T 787-725-9139

Also See: Royston O. Hopkin, CMG Appointed Chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism / Dec 2002
IHIF Sustainable Tourism Pioneer Award 2002 Awarded to Caribbean Hotel Association for Safeguarding and Implementing Environmentally Healthy Policies / April 2002

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