Antigua sets a green example for sustainable tourism

Antigua sets a green example for sustainable tourism

Antigua Tourism CEO to join the UAE’s Green Sheikh at Expo to share best green practices in hospitality

‘Greenwashing’ is a type of PR and marketing spin used to convince the public that a company is more environmentally friendly than it really is. With greenwashing on the rise, travellers are confused about which travel suppliers they can trust when it comes to sustainable practices.

To give eco-conscious travellers greater peace of mind, Antigua has established an area on its coastline called ‘The Green Corridor’. It offers guests a cluster of environmentally friendly hotels, restaurants and activities within its rolling hills and rainforest that are collectively committed to green tourism.

Launched in 2017, The Green Corridor stretches along the southwest coast between the villages of Bolans and John Hughes. Businesses both directly and indirectly related to tourism in this designated area have pledged to follow a set of principles based on “respect for local culture, positive influence on the local community, local economic benefits and environmental stewardship”.

The destination just scooped the award for Best Emerging Destination in 2021 by Lonely Planet, thanks to this sustainable tourism drive

At 10.30am on Monday 7 February, the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C James and his team will be joined by the UAE’s Green Sheikh at a press conference at Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss the best practices for establishing green clusters within the tourist destinations.

The following initiatives will be explored in greater depth:

Green Tourism Initiative
In the destination, all green policies are shared by the Ministry of Health with all tourism businesses, and Antigua & Barbuda’s Green Tourism Initiative ensures there is compliance. The key areas focused on include: energy consumption and efficiency, and use of renewable energy; water consumption; waste disposal; green building practices; green operations; promoting local economy; employee engagement; social responsibility; customer education, and conservation practices.

Plastics, Polystyrene and Styrofoam Bans
Initiatives have been successfully rolled out in stages. Companies in the Green Corridor committed to achieving each goal by a set date. For example, no establishment was allowed to use plastic shopping bags after 31 December 2018, and then plastic utensils – including spoons, forks, knives, straws, fruit trays and egg cartons – were banned by January 2019 and replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives, including products made from sugar cane (bagasse), wheat straw, bamboo, potato starch, areca palm, cardboard and paper.

Green Dining
The destination’s menus are also green. Popular beach bars and restaurants within the Green Corridor, such as Dennis’ Beach Bar & Restaurant, Darkwood Beach Bar & Restaurant, Jacqui O’s Love Beach, Turner’s Beach Bar and Restaurant and Cavell’s Street Side Restaurant, all offer farm-to-table dining.

Dishes are prepared using herbs and vegetables picked from gardens on the properties or sourced at local markets

For a taste of sustainability, head to Fig Tree Drive market with stalls overflowing with produce grown in Antigua’s rainforest, including one of the sweetest pineapples in the world, the Antigua Black pineapple. This delicious fruit is grown at the local Cades Bay Agriculture Station’s Pineapple Farm.

Darkwood Beach

Green Activities
The dramatic, undulating landscape of the Green Corridor also presents an opportunity to hike. Popular trails in the area include Antigua and Barbuda’s highest peak Mount Obama, and the second-highest Signal Hill with Wallings Dam at the base providing the perfect picnic spot. Turtle-watching is another big attraction on Darkwood Beach from July to September when beach bar guests can witness turtles hatching under the moonlight.

The Green Fins Programme is a set of standards that provide guidance and support for diving and snorkelling business owners to promote best practices. Scooter Snorkelling, Jolly Dive, Adventure Antigua, South Coast Horizons, Antigua Reef Riders and Dive Caribe are all certified under the Green Fins Programme.

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