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JetBlue’s Sustainable Tourism Grant Seeks to Change the Tide of Climate Change in the Caribbean

Submitted by: Sophia Mendelsohn

Posted: Aug 25, 2015 – 06:00 AM EST

Series: Education for a Sustainable Future

Tags: education, tourism, philanthropy

 
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This is the most recent article in our series "Education for a Sustainable Future". For more articles, go to http://www.csrwire.com/blog/series/86-education-for-a-sustainable-future/posts

For all the good-natured and well-meaning conversations about sustainable travel, there is often a fundamental problem. Sustainable travel conversations happen at conventions, think-tanks and events in exclusive locations, command high-fees, and are just plain hard to get to. That means that the people most affected by (the lack of) sustainable tourism, aren’t at the table. Sure, there are NGOs and groups that represent them. But is that truly enough?

For this very reason, JetBlue created an annual Sustainable Tourism Grant   that allows students from the Caribbean to be part of the conversation. To launch the grant, this year JetBlue partnered with the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) to bring two students into the conversation for a think-tank hosted by CREST. Although we knew free flights, beachside resort stays and conference passes wouldn’t be a hard sell, l we were blown away with the response. Seventy seven students - Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's & PhD students – applied, representing 41 universities and 17 countries.

Two grant winners were selected and joined JetBlue and CREST for three days of 12+ hour presentations, conversations, debates and networking with experts in students’ field of study. Below are their stories. 

Katrina from the University of West Indies:

▪    “This grant is guiding us professionally and made dreams come true. For this gift of inspiration, I will be forever grateful. Thank you for allowing students to be a part of such a movement. My academic background allowed me to make connections between ideas that I was unable to see before. I now see that businesses have the power to make or break a destination; this can be used to guide best practices. This truly invigorating event showed that by human interaction, and data, any field can be traversed, any issues can be smoothed over, and anyone can be inspired.” 

Stefan from Hugh Wooding Law School:

▪   “This was undoubtedly one of my most treasured experiences, a privilege to interact with, and learn from, the distinguished experts in the tourism. Stemming from the scholarship, I feel inspired and motivated as a young lawyer to redouble my efforts to advocate for astute policies relating to sustainable development. I will share this information with members of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, a group of young influencers. I hope that Guyana creates an environment that would encourage JetBlue to invest in the country.”

For more information, visit 3BL Media to learn more about JetBlue’s Sustainable Tourism Grant program, and visit www.jetblue.com/green to read more about JetBlue’s environmental initiatives. 

This is the most recent article in our series "Education for a Sustainable Future". For more articles, go to http://www.csrwire.com/blog/series/86-education-for-a-sustainable-future/posts

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by CSRwire contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of CSRwire.

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