As the fastest growing region for tourism, the Caribbean faces challenges such as vulnerability to climate change, a reliance on imported fossil fuels and the need for inclusive economic growth.
Bryan, who is also Cayman Islands tourism minister, said it's the responsibility of governments to seek sustainable investment and innovation.
'Today’s travelers are increasingly conscious about the environment, and actively seek destinations and properties that embrace sustainability and eco-friendliness. Sustainable tourism is, therefore, not just a buzzword; it is a commitment that Caribbean leaders are taking seriously,' he told the forum at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Bryan urged the attending investors to become part of the sustainable tourism development movement through projects that embrace environmentally responsible practices such as energy-efficient designs, waste reduction and responsible water management.
He reported sustainable tourism and renewable energy are two sectors on the forefront for growth and was encouraged that G20 leaders recently committed to scaling up financing for these and other sustainable development goals.
Projects should benefit local economies
'As Caribbean leaders, while we welcome foreign direct investments, we remain committed to ensuring that investments in our tourism industries benefit the local population and create a positive social impact,' Bryan added.
Sustainable tourism goes beyond green initiatives and should also contribute to the local economy, which supports Caribbean culture and traditions, he said. It also provides a unique selling proposition in keeping with the recognition that countries should focus on attracting foreign direct investments in sectors which advance their national development objectives.
The USA-Caribbean Investment Forum was organized by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies.