SUNBIZ

Leala-Gale Joins SPTO In Suva

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) yesterday announced the appointment of Christina Leala‐Gale, as its new manager of Sustainable Tourism Development. Ms Leala-Gale, a Samoan, will be responsible for strengthening
20 Jan 2017 12:00
Leala-Gale Joins SPTO In Suva
Christina Leala-Gale.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) yesterday announced the appointment of Christina Leala‐Gale, as its new manager of Sustainable Tourism Development.

Ms Leala-Gale, a Samoan, will be responsible for strengthening SPTO’s work in the area. She brings over 14 years of experience to the position.

Chief executive Chris Cocker said: “Christina joins SPTO with a wealth of experience in various areas such as sustainable development, tourism planning, project management and climate change to name a few.

“SPTO is indeed fortunate to have an asset like Christina to share her technical expertise and knowledge in the field of sustainable tourism development, which is an area of great importance to the Pacific Islands,” Mr Cocker said.

“The sustainable tourism development division is of course a new unit in SPTO and as we evolve to also undertake tourism development programs, I am pleased that we have qualified managers like Christina at the helm.”

Ms Leala-Gale joins SPTO from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in Apia where she managed a regional project on reducing the vulnerability of community livelihoods to the impacts of climate change through improved national meteorological services in 14 Pacific Island countries.

She held a variety of positions over 10 years at Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), working on tourism planning and development, climate change adaptation in the tourism sector and managing the recovery of the Samoan tourism sector following the 2009 tsunami and Tropical Cyclone Evan in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Information Systems from the University of the South Pacific.

“I am very pleased to be part of the team at SPTO and I look forward to working closely with our members and development partners on how we can improve in the area of sustainable tourism as a region,” she said.

Ms Leala-Gale hails from Lepea village outside Apia, which is known for its sliding rocks, an eco-tourism activity that is managed by the community. She is joined in Suva by her husband and five children.

Based in Suva, SPTO works with 16 Pacific island countries to market and develop tourism in South Pacific region.

SPTO was established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, SPTO is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region.

Its 18 Government-members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the People’s Republic of China.

In addition to government members, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation enlists a private sector membership base.

 

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