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Caribbean Media Exchange bolstered by Youth participants

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – “This infusion of youthful vigor and creativity will give an already dynamic Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) even more buzz,” said Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International which organizes the event.

A strong delegation of students, young journalists and visionaries from across the Caribbean, North America and Europe will join major players in tourism, media and policy for Counterpart International’s 10th Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) slated for the Holiday Inn in San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 17 to 20, 2007.

“Our younger colleagues will be eagerly awaited as their views are key to the theme of this conference,” asserted LeLaulu, who said CMEx conference arrangements were in place for delegates to address the theme “Enhancing Culture and Protecting Ecology through Tourism”.

Students currently enrolled in institutions such as the University of the West Indies, Universidad de Puerto Rico, University of Paris; The George Washington University and Temple University in the United States; and Kingston University in the United Kingdom will attend the conference, along with senior officials from tourism, development, academia and the media.

Dr. Basil Springer, chairman of the Barbados-based Counterpart Caribbean, said “We are particularly pleased to boost the youth participation at this meeting not only because they will be the pillars on which future development will take place, but also because the presence of youth delegates at previous CMEx events has espoused creativity and synergy beyond expectation.”

LeLaulu said that while the nonprofit development organisation offered full fellowships to the lion’s share of CMEx’s participants, he was encouraged that some delegates, including the youth, had responded to offers of partial fellowships to attend the meeting. “Sustainable tourism development is our collective responsibility and we are so pleased with the initiative and creativity of delegates to invest in acquiring and sharing knowledge at the Puerto Rico talks,” he said.

Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Senator Allen Chastanet, who was recently appointed St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, will deliver a keynote address at CMEx, which also will hear from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s visionary executive director, Terestella González Denton, and the president of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), Peter Odle.

CMEx Puerto Rico, produced by Counterpart International, is sponsored and supported by Air Jamaica, Almond Resorts, the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, The Barbara Pyle Foundation, Bay Gardens Resorts, Black Entertainment Television (BET J), Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Hotel Association, Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Caribbean World News Network, Coco Resorts, Continental Airlines, Counterpart Caribbean, Interval International, LIAT – the Caribbean Airline, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, SpeakEasy M.E.D.I.A., Spirit Airlines, Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago, and Ruder Finn.

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