In October 2022, Kiribati affirmed its commitment to being part of the regional sustainable tourism cohesion as it signed the Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment.
Kiribati joined 14 Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) members in endorsing the Statement of Commitment. Kiribati joined the Islands of Tahiti, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Niue, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, and Tonga, Cook Islands, and American Samoa.
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 also outlined in the country’s Kiribati Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework launched 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,” Mr Nauan said.
Also, in 2022 the Tourism Authority of Kiribati became a signatory to the Glasgow Declaration, committing the organisation to deliver a climate action plan. TAK recognised this as an opportunity to provide climate action plans through its daily operations.
TAK believes that experiences on compliance from an organisation level will enable it as the National Tourism Office to lead by example when proposing sustainability recommendations on a national level.
TAK has now embarked on further formalising its sustainable tourism development priorities by developing the Kiribati Sustainable Tourism Indicators through a partnership with Asian Development Banks (ADB) Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).
Through the Kiribati Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, Kiribati commits to 7 sustainable tourism goals that address the destination’s economic, environmental, and socio-cultural goals.
Once completed, TAK will begin work on the Kiribati Sustainable Tourism Policy and Action Plan. This policy will draw from both the Kiribati Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework and the Kiribati Sustainable Tourism Indicators and offer TAK and Kiribati tourism enterprises a workable means of achieving the nation’s sustainable tourism goals by 2036, as enthused in the country’s 20-years vision, the KV20 (Kiribati 20-year Vision).