Centered on the theme Navigating uncertainty through research: Partnering for knowledge-based action in building Pacific tourism forward, the inaugural Pacific Islands Tourism Research Symposium was held virtually on 30th November – 1st December 2021. Attended by 167 participants who joined the event platform over the course of the two days, the symposium provided a space for stakeholders to reflect and deliberate on a pathway for rebuilding tourism forward post pandemic.
Pacific and international researchers shared insights on a range of tourism research initiatives done in the Pacific. National Tourism Organisations, industry, technical agencies and development partners discussed the state of play for the sector, research and development priorities, challenges and opportunities.
“As countries begin to consider and work towards tourism reactivation, SPTO together with USP, Massey University, and NZ MFAT and other key partners recognised the need for a symposium to inspire and achieve greater coordination of effort and understanding of research activity and information available to guide future tourism planning, decision making and direction, post COVID-19”, said SPTO CEO Mr. Christopher Cocker.
The symposium is a significant event in these unprecedented times and the role of all stakeholders in shaping the future of tourism for the Pacific is crucial, he said. Expert speakers and moderators took to the platform and the rich discussions affirmed the need for greater partnerships in bridging the gap between research and practice to ensure tourism recovers and transforms to be more resilient, sustainable and inclusive.
The success of the symposium was made possible through the hard work of the multi-stakeholder Steering Committee, Chaired by Dr. Apisalome Movono of Massey University, and Vice-Chair by Professor Stephen Pratt of USP with the funding support of the NZ Government.
Resources and event information can be accessed via the PITRS Chime Live platform where recordings of all sessions will also be made available. An Outcomes Report will be published in the coming weeks.
Research and Statistics is one of the three core strategic priorities of SPTO and the symposium is a step forward for the organisation and its Member Countries in ensuring future plans for the tourism sector are informed and supported by knowledge-based action and partnerships.
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