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Copal Tree Lodge wins Agro-Tourism award

Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2019. 11:29 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has recognized 8 tourism entities from CTO-member countries with its top awards for embracing sustainable tourism principles.

The awards were presented August 29, 2019 during CTO’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Following a rigorous judging process by an esteemed panel of judges across various tourism development and related disciplines, the winners for the 8 awards were selected out of 38 entries.

Among the 8 was Belize’s own, Copal Tree Lodge in Belize bringing home the Agro-Tourism Award.

Managed by Muy’Ono Hospitality, Copal Tree Lodge is built on lands that date back to the Classic Maya period — around 600 AD — when the Maya people used the Rio Grande river as an important transportation route to the sea.

 In the 1860’s, Confederates from Alabama and Texas settled in the region to produce cane, cattle and rum.

Marie Louise Young, a Confederate descendant born in Belize, eventually bought the “Big Hill” property and farmed cattle and 80-acres of cane.

She produced aged and Argicole rum and started a distillery called “Rocky Run Rum” on the property until the 1970s.

 The original cane press can be seen in the center of their Farm Center.

 In 2001 the property was sold to the owners of El Pescador in San Pedro and construction began on El Pescador South, a new fly fishing lodge.

The Agro Tourism award are awarded to establishments that offer an agro-tourism product incorporating elements of food/agriculture production, culinary output and visitor experience.

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards include: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Barbados; International Institute of Tourism Studies, the George Washington University; Massy Stores, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Mustique Company Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; National Properties Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission.

“The CTO is pleased to recognise and promote the pioneering sustainability initiatives being implemented in its member countries. The region’s public and private tourism industry stakeholders continue to exhibit a high level of interest and commitment to sustainable tourism development, making the region a world leader in responsible travel and tourism,” said Amanda Charles, CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted #STC2019 amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.


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