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Bahamas Tourism Advocate Honored By Media Body


One of the Caribbean's leading advocates for sustainable tourism development will receive the 2013 Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) Leadership AwardEarlston McPhee, the focal point for sustainable tourism development at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, was selected by CMEx as the recipient of its media recognition of excellence prize.  CMEx president Bevan Springer reported McPhee was singled out for "his tireless commitment to ensuring sustainability is embedded in Bahamian and Caribbean tourism endeavors."

McPhee joins Puerto Rico's Terestella Gonz├ílez Denton and Bill Clegg of Choice Hotels International as the select individuals named to date by the non-profit organization.  Organizers of the CMEx fundraiser, set for The 40/40 Club in New York City on Sunday, December 8, 2013, announced McPhee was selected for using his 20-year career with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism to promote the benefits of sustainable tourism to Caribbean communities, their economic well-being, their culture, their health and their education.

McPhee has been active assisting with the development of strategic approaches for the Bahamas Sustainable Tourism Development initiatives, which enhance the linkages to more sectors of the nation.  In 1994 he initiated the development of the Bahamas Sustainable Tourism Development Policy Guidelines in collaboration with the Organization of American States, one of the first states to do so. This project and other similar initiatives were instrumental in the government being awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council's Green Globe Environmental Achievement Award in 1996 and 1998.

A global traveler, he has addressed several international fora on sustainable tourism and the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of small island developing states.  "Sustainability runs through Earlston's veins and the Caribbean is blessed to have such an environmental champion keeping our important issues in the limelight," said Springer, who added that McPhee, through his advocacy efforts, has kept Caribbean sustainability challenges as a top agenda item for many international organizations.

As director of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's Sustainable Tourism Unit, McPhee has been instrumental in developing a training manual for nature tour guides, and the Unit has coordinated, in partnership with the Bahamas National Trust, the training of about 150 visitor tour guides throughout the Islands of The Bahamas.

            To foster a high level of professionalism and to instill a keen appreciation of sustainable development principles, he has worked collaboratively with fly-fishing guides throughout the chain of the Bahamas islands. This has resulted in the establishment of the first national association of fly-fishing guides, and the development of training and certification programs, one of which led to more than 100 guides receiving their class B captain licenses.

The chairman of the Bahamas National Coastal Awareness Committee, whose objective is to bring awareness of the importance of precious coastal resources to socio-economic development, McPhee is also the recipient of the Bahamas Hotel Association's prestigious annual Sustainable Tourism Award, in 2005. 

To purchase tickets for the Awards, visit http://cmexmedia.org/event-registration .

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