Day in and day out, thousands of travelers set foot on St. Kitts’ shores. During their visit, they stay in hotels, go on tours, and eat in restaurants, meeting countless locals who work in the industry. Yet these tourists are largely unaware of the environmental and socio-cultural challenges facing St. Kitts and the opportunities they have to make a positive impact. As the ones who are on the frontline interacting with these visitors on a daily basis, tourism workers are in a unique position to drive a transformation in the industry and spread awareness of sustainable tourism practices. However, before this can happen, they must first become familiar with the principles of sustainability themselves and know how businesses and travelers can take action.
Growing up in St. Kitts in a family rooted deep in agriculture, Kenney Manning has always felt a deep connection to the local environment. Now, as the Farm Manager at St. Kitts Eco-Park, Kenney’s day-to-day life combines this love of nature with the island’s booming tourism industry.
Marine Management Area (MMA) and Habitat Monitoring Officer, St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources
From her job title, it will likely come as no surprise that marine conservation is major part of Tricia’s life. Tricia’s fascination with marine animals and appreciation for the environment started at an early age, and only grew stronger as she got older. A desire to protect marine habitats led Tricia to pursue a career path in marine biology and later to her current role at the St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources. As the department’s Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Tricia is actively involved in marine resource management and helped get St. Kitts’ first Marine Managed Area declared in August 2016.
History aficionado, teacher, tour guide, and author
A man of many talents, Leonard Stapleton wears numerous hats in his day-to-day life – from educator and historian, to accountant and tour guide. While it may be hard to predict what he will be doing from one day to the next, odds are that it will be related to one of his main passions – learning about and sharing the natural, cultural, and historic heritage of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Founder and Director of St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network
Crouching down on the beach in the dark of night, waiting for a mother sea turtle to emerge from the waves to lay her eggs, this is just another day “at the office” for Dr. Kimberly Stewart, the Founder and Director of St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network.
When we think of tourism, we often think of hotels, airlines, restaurants, attractions, and tour guides. But the industry is far more complex than this and includes many more stakeholders beyond what we see on the surface. For instance, how do the roads you travel on get built? What happens to your trash after you dispose of it? And who maintains the parks and beaches you visit? In addition to the more obvious participants, tourism also involves government departments and agencies, local and global NGOs, and host communities.