Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF), and the GSTC
The Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF)
The Pacific Sustainable Tourism Framework (PSTPF) was developed by the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) on behalf of its members, including the governments of 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, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna and Rapa Nui and over 200 private sector members from all parts of the tourism industry throughout the Pacific.
Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Membership in the GSTC
“GSTC membership is important for SPTO as we continue to look ahead to post- pandemic tourism and how we would like for that to look”, said SPTO CEO, Christopher Cocker.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything it is that we cannot simply revert to the way things were. We must build a resilient tourism industry and in order to do that, we must develop and maintain sustainable practices. GSTC membership will add value to SPTO’s membership and regional recovery efforts post COVID-19”, he said.
Last year SPTO’s Sustainable Tourism & Research Division provided financial support to representatives from the national tourism offices of the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Republic of the Marshall Islands to undertake a month-long training offered by the GSTC. The training offered practical insights and effective steps to improving sustainability practices and enabled participants to develop viable and actionable sustainable tourism policies and practices at both the national and organisational levels. As part of the partnership, SPTO will continue to pursue further training for its Member Countries.
Pacific Tourism Leaders Commit To Sustainable Tourism Transformation
On November 3rd 2021, tourism ministers from across the Pacific have endorsed the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF), committing their long-term support to rebuild and transform Pacific tourism so that it is resilient, prosperous, and more inclusive.
Supported by 20 countries in the region, this signals the ambition of Pacific leaders to use tourism to support the wellbeing of Pacific people and their island and ocean resources and ecosystems.
The PSTPF recognizes that tourism has the potential to bring about positive change to the lives of Pacific people and the quality of their environment so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come. It acknowledges tourism as an avenue to rebuild economies, provide decent work opportunities, reduce poverty, enhance social inclusion, and protect natural and cultural assets.
In that regard, SPTO CEO, Mr. Christopher Cocker, noted the importance of leaders’ recognition of tourism as a force for positive change. “We see tourism as a Vaka, the vessel we use to navigate towards greater sustainability and the resilience of our people, our islands, and our ocean,” he said.
“Our shared vision is that by 2030 we are empowered by, and benefitting from tourism that is resilient, prosperous and inclusive and certainly with COP26 currently underway, this commitment couldn’t have come at a better time. Through the PSTPF, SPTO and its membership are showing the world that the Pacific region is standing up and taking action to transform tourism in our region”, said Mr. Cocker.
Whilst discussing the Framework at SPTO’s Council of Tourism Ministers meeting, the Council acknowledged that responsibility for implementation of the Framework will be a joint effort, requiring a partnership between governments, industries, civil society organisations, development partners, and the community.
Moreover, it was noted that implementing the policies and actions within this Framework will enable the SPTO and its partners to contribute to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other global, regional, and national commitments.
Join the Webinar for GSTC Members About the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework on November 17th, 2021
Christina Leala Gale, Sustainable Tourism and Research Manager, Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
Penny Spoelder, Senior Associate, TRC Tourism
The Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework reflects the aspirations of the SPTO and its members, the tourism industry, civil society organisations, regional organisations and global development partners. The shared vision is: By 2030 we are empowered by, and benefitting from tourism that is resilient, prosperous and inclusive. It improves the wellbeing of our communities and protects, restores and promotes our cultures, islands and ocean ecosystems. To ensure that tourism in the Pacific continues to be a driver of economic and community wellbeing, all partners are required to implement the policies and actions in the Framework to build a resilient tourism industry, fit for the challenges and opportunities the Pacific faces between now and 2030.