NATION

Technology Vital for Tourism Development says WWF

Digital transformation and technology is vital for na­ture, wildlife and environ­mental conservation work as it is for the development of the tourism sector. A release from World Wide Fund for
29 Sep 2018 11:00
Technology Vital for Tourism Development says WWF
A Treasure Island Resort guest releasing a hawksbill turtle back into the ocean. Photo: World Wide Fund (WWF)

Digital transformation and technology is vital for na­ture, wildlife and environ­mental conservation work as it is for the development of the tourism sector.

A release from World Wide Fund for Nature – Pacific (WWF-Pacific), highlighted this during in celebra­tion of this year’s World Tourism theme “Tourism and Digital Trans­formation.

WWF-Pacific Great Sea Reef pro­gramme manager, Alfred Ralifo , said: “Digital technology is an im­portant component of collecting environment data.

“Sustainable tourism not only re­quires social and economic infor­mation but also includes environ­mental data.

“Such data is vital to improve tourism planning and strategies.”

According to the United World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the world tourism body, many tour­ism attractions are strongly linked to biological diversity, such as pro­tected areas, beaches and islands, healthy coral reefs, wildlife view­ing etc.

Healthy ecosystems and biodiver­sity are also important in terms of providing quality produce.

Biodiversity is thus a key tourism asset and fundamental to its sus­tained growth.

Fiji Bureau of Statistics provi­sional visitor arrivals show 567,736 tourists visited the country from January to August this year. A 4.2 per cent increase from 2017.

For the month of August alone, an increase of 7.7 per cent or 88,693 tourists arrived in Fiji.

The continuous increasing num­ber of tourists choosing Fiji as a holiday destination over the years reaffirms why the tourism sector is the country’s leading foreign ex­change earner and now backbone of Fiji’s economy.

Mr Ralifo said through technol­ogy data, stakeholders that include conservationists, Government, and the tourism sector, are now able to make a push towards a strength­ened sustainable tourism industry.

“The tourism industry could be a niche market for Fiji as Govern­ment and stakeholders, with the assistance of technology data could move towards complying to inter­national sustainable criteria and best practices as globally.

“People are starting to be more aware of human’s impact on our eco systems, bio diversity and cli­mate change and are now consid­ering reducing their carbon foot­prints and impacts.”

“If we can tailor or have our tour­ism sector meet these standards not only in the tourism sector but through other sectors that directly or indirectly impact the tourism sector such as the food and agri­culture sector, then we should see more tourists coming to Fiji.

“The cycle could lead to more mon­etary investment for stakeholders to continue the green approach,” Mr Ralifo highlighted.

Through digital technology, trace­ability of food sources is also a key component that could further in­crease tourist numbers to Fiji.

Through such new innovative technology, tourists and consum­ers can now access such informa­tion by simply scanning a barcode to determine whether their food is sourced sustainably.

Source: WWF

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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