Tourism is an economic powerhouse and one of the main pillars sustaining growth and development in the Pacific. It is the major driver of economic growth, foreign exchange earnings, and employment and contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals across the region. This potential can only be realised by transforming to a model of tourism that is prosperous, inclusive, and resilient and supports sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters. The transformation to a better tourism future begins with the implementation of the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework. 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 Framework calls on all partners and stakeholders to coordinate and collaborate to advance this vision for sustainable tourism through a series of policies and actions that focus on:
• Supporting Prosperous and Resilient Economies
• Empowering Communities
• Amplifying and Promoting Culture
• Accelerating Climate Action
• Protecting Ecosystems
• Building resilience
The Framework has been designed to cater to countries that are well advanced in developing and implementing sustainable tourism practices as well as for the countries that are in the early stages of sustainable tourism development. 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.
By 2030 we are empowered by and benefit 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.
Goal 1 – Prosperous Economies
Goal 2 – Thriving and Inclusive Communities
Goal 3 – Visible and Valued Cultures
Goal 4 – Healthy Islands and Oceans
The Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment is inspired by the Pacific nations, industry, Civil Society, Development Partners, and Global Agencies who are committed to advancing sustainable tourism across the Pacific by 2030. Pacific values and practices have ensured the sustainability of natural resources for hundreds of years and will continue for generations to come. We want to instill these philosophies into the way we plan for, develop and manage tourism operations in order to preserve the future of our destinations.
We, the Council of Tourism Ministers representing the 20 member countries of the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) commit to elevating sustainable tourism as a regional priority for environmental, socio-cultural, and economic development. We commit to making tourism in the Pacific a force for good by adopting the Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework to put the sector and our communities on a path to sustainable recovery by 2030. Strategic regional cooperation and coordination is critical but to be most effective we must demonstrate leadership at the national level.
Tourism by its nature involves a destination as a whole, not only industry businesses, but also its ecosystems, natural resources, cultural assets and traditions, communities, aesthetics, and built infrastructure. Our approach must be integrated. We will work with our development partners and international financial institutions to build understanding about the need to obtain sustainable and green financing mechanisms to support sustainable tourism development and to provide accessible funding for small to medium enterprises. As we journey together on the road to tourism recovery following the COVID–19 pandemic, we will ensure that tourism brings positive change to the lives of our people and the quality of our environment so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come. We will work together to rebuild our economies, provide decent work opportunities, reduce poverty, enhance social inclusion, and protect our natural and cultural assets. Through our work and our partnerships, our goal is to make our tourism sector resilient, prosperous, and inclusive. The Pacific Sustainable Tourism Development Framework encompasses our vision and the policies and actions to support it. It provides a pathway for the tourism sector to play its part in support of the Pacific’s global, regional and national commitments. Our islands and oceans fundamentally underpin the health, wellbeing and prosperity of Pacific peoples and are the foundation upon which tourism depends. We acknowledge the interdependent crises of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and climate change combined with the health and economic crises that impact every corner of the globe. Transformative change is needed: we cannot simply carry on as before. For tourism to be resilient, prosperous, and inclusive, we need to ensure:
We invite visitors and our partners to contribute to our efforts to make tourism to the Pacific more sustainable. In endorsing this Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment, we commit ourselves to these goals and meaningful actions. It marks a turning point and comes with an explicit recognition that we will be judged now and by future generations on our willingness and ability to achieve our goals. Tourism has the potential to bring about positive change to the lives of our people and the quality of our environment that will be enjoyed by generations to come. We now call on our development partners, national Government colleagues, international financial institutions, regional and international agencies to support us as we transition toward sustainable tourism. We commit to meeting annually to review our progress and reaffirm these commitments.