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Dialogue Key to Sustainable Tourism

Over 60 participants took part in the Sustainable Tourism Product Development in the Pacific Islands workshop in Suva yesterday. The workshop was organised by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
01 Apr 2021 11:27
Dialogue Key to Sustainable Tourism
SPTO Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Solomons, Josefa Tuamoto and SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Cocker.

Over 60 participants took part in the Sustainable Tourism Product Development in the Pacific Islands workshop in Suva yesterday.

The workshop was organised by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTEC), in collaboration with South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and with support from the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

SPTO deputy chairman and chief executive officer of Tourism Solomons, Josefa Tuamoto said the workshop focused on three keys areas:
– Sustainability and tourism product development in the Pacific Islands;
– Restarting tourism: Harnessing the potential of intra-regional tourism and sustainable product development;
– Innovation and digital transformation: new opportunities in the sustainable tourism development era

He said: “Today is one such opportunity, where we as a region, with the support of UNWTO and partners, can have the opportunity to have a genuine dialogue on how tourism products, experiences and services can be developed sustainably within the Pacific as part of the recovery process.

“Tourism has become a major economic driver for most of our Pacific Island countries where over the years, our visitors have come to appreciate our islands, lands and oceans, people and culture as special.”

Mr Tuamoto said the COVID-19 global pandemic however, halted growth and its socio-economic consequences continued to take its toll on Pacific Island’s small economies and people.

“In the context of COVID-19 recovery, the Pacific has the opportunity to look into policies, systems and resources that help address the basic and aspirational needs of small medium enterprises, the wider private sector and communities, who will be carrying tourism forward into the new normal.

“Governments and development partners, leaders, businesses are all challenged to step out of our comfort zones during these trying times, to reset and rethink, the type of tourism we want for our communities, countries and our region.”

He said in the quest to recover stronger, Pacific Island countries must keep sustainable development and the communities at the forefront of their thinking.

 

Sustainable Tourism
Meanwhile, SPTO chief executive officer, Christopher Cocker said the workshop will enable dialogues to enable shift from ‘Sun, Sand, Sea’ tourism to other types of tourism.

“There was a focus on high value, and low impact tourism under sustainable tourism,” he said.

“In moving forwards, we are trying to encourage sustainable tourists, who are low impact – tourists who are more responsible in respecting our culture.”

He said there was a need for tourists to interact with local culture and communities so local communities could benefit as well through revenues earned from tourism activities.

“This can be achieved by encouraging and promoting niche tourism.

He added the workshop would encourage people to develop more sustainable products and experiences which would in turn promote sustainable tourism.

 

Feedback: shreya.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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