Last week, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)’s Vice Chair CB Ramkumar attended the Pacific Agritourism and Food Tourism Validation Meeting facilitated by GSTC Member Regenerative Vanua and the Global Agritourism Network Pacific Committee. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu attended the signing of a Commitment Declaration to support the rollout of Regenerative Vanua’s Regenerative Agritourism program and standards throughout the Pacific.

Vanavatu Conference

From left to right: Jerry Spooner, Regenerative Vanua’s Executive Director, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Mr Ishmael Kalsakau and GSTC’s Vice Chair CB Ramkumar.

The event was held to promote the way forward for agritourism in the Pacific ensuring inclusivity of our Indigenous people, as well as strengthen global collaboration, partnerships and financial support for the agritourism sector in the Pacific.

“I want to congratulate you all for the solidarity you have shown in coming to Vanuatu’s aid so that we can develop our horizons for our people in this new area of regenerative agritourism. Whatever assistance is required this government will give as this is an integral part of building our economy in a more resilient way. This will enrich what is important to our country, our values and traditional knowledge and I commend Regenerative Vanua for developing standards that will support us to showcase our local food and traditional farming to the world […] I will ensure there is as much government involvement as possible to assist this group to continue to support this country and its people too. Vanuatu will continue to lead in the space of regenerative agritourism, soaring to new heights and bringing not only our Pacific neighbours but the world along with us” – Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Mr Ishmael Kalsakau said.

GSTC Vanuatu Conference

GSTC Training by GSTC Vice Chair, CB Ramkumar

“The power, value and wealth of knowledge of Indigenous cultures is sadly ignored by mainstream tourism. That has now ended, thanks to Regenerative Vanua pioneering an impactful, well thought through, research-based approach to Regenerative Indigenous Agriourism. Powerful examples from the world have been showcased and their energy and capability will now lead to a revolutionary change in the world of tourism” – The Vice Chair of the GSTC CB Ramkumar stated.

Regenerative Vanua’s  Executive Director Jerry Spooner thanked the PM for taking the time to meet with the local and international experts and stated “Regenerative Vanua’s programs and standards have been developed to adopt an approach where tourism is not the primary focus but rather as a vehicle for building resilience of our communities. Regenerative Agritourism supports in restoring our traditional Indigenous knowledge systems which in turn regenerates our culture, our land, water and oceans and builds the pride of people in the Pacific”.

Along with Vanuatu’s Prime Minister and GSTC Vice Chair, other representatives included: World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA), Pacific Island Food Revolution, representatives from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), CEO of Vanuatu Standards Bureau, Anna Pollock, and local communities.