Kiribati affirmed its commitment to being part of the regional sustainable tourism cohesion as it signed the Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment in Tarawa last week.
Kiribati has become the 11th Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) member to formalize its endorsement, joining the Islands of Tahiti, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, New Caledonia, Niue, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, and Tonga.
The Statement of Commitment re-enforces Pacific values and practices that support improved planning, development, and management of sustainable tourism to preserve the future of Pacific destinations for future generations of the Blue Pacific.
While signing the Commitment Kiribati’s Minister for Tourism, Commerce, Industry, and Cooperative (MTCIC), Honourable Bootii Nauan, highlighted that commitment to sustainable tourism development is outlined in the country’s Sustainable Tourism Development Policy Framework developed in 2021.
“This is a step forward in the right direction for us as we meticulously work to map Kiribati’s tourism development journey, based on the core values of resilience and sustainability. By signing the sustainable tourism statement of commitment, we are taking action to transform tourism in our region and pave the way for a strong future for our people, our islands, and our oceans. Kiribati recognizes the importance of coordination, cooperation, and commitment as we work towards a successful and sustainable Pacific tourism recovery,” he said.
In acknowledging Kiribati’s official endorsement SPTO CEO Mr. Christopher Cocker congratulated Kiribati and noted that the ongoing support for the Commitment was encouraging, especially as SPTO prepares to host the inaugural Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit (PSTLS) in the Cook Islands in November.
“A successful recovery for the industry will require well-informed, targeted, and coordinated efforts. To achieve as much, SPTO is prioritizing the implementation of the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, endorsement of the Statement of Commitment and regional forums such as the PSTLS, which will provide a platform for countries to share and learn from each other’s sustainable tourism journeys”.
“It is great to see many member countries, particularly Small Island States and Territories, supporting a sustainable and more resilient recovery of the industry through the Statement of Commitment. SPTO is working towards getting all of our 20 Pacific Island members on board by November”, said Mr. Cocker.