After two years without an on-site Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the 2022 GSTC Asia-Pacific Sustainable Tourism Conference was held in Gunsan, Korea.
The three-day (September 15-17) 2022 GSTC Asia-Pacific Conference focused on the following themes: (i) Attraction & Destination Stewardship (ii) Meeting Incentive Conference Exhibition (MICE) & Hotels (iii) Ecotourism & Heritage. The conference hosted Korean and international tourism stakeholders involved in the development and promotion of sustainable travel & tourism; including public sector, hotels, tour operators, corporates, OTAs, academia, development agencies, NGOs, consultants.
Pacific Tourism Organisation’s (SPTO) Manager Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala Gale, was a panellist r at this year’s GSTC Asia-Pacific Conference. Ms. Gale shared insights on SPTO’s journey as a regional organisation, supporting its members in transitioning to more sustainable forms of tourism as guided by the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework. She also highlighted the importance of regional leadership, support for country solutions and global and regional cooperation.
“I was privileged to represent the Pacific at the conference, sharing our journey with Korean and international colleagues. It was important to connect with Asian practitioners who are doing well in the area of community development through tourism. Moreover, it was encouraging to learn about the ways in which the private sector are taking action in realizing their sustainability goals and to witness how provinces are transforming into sustainable destinations.”
Through her presentation Ms. Gale also discussed the key regional sustainable initiatives of SPTO including the development of the PSTPF, Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Commitment (already signed by 50% of SPTO’s member countries), Pacific Sustainable Tourism Standards/Criteria, Pacific Sustainable Tourism Indicators and the Pacific Tourism Digital Transformation project,” said Ms Gale.
In acknowledging the importance of SPTOs participation at the 2022 GSTC Asia-Pacific Sustainable Tourism Conference, SPTO CEO Christopher Cocker mentioned that this was an excellent platform to showcase the work that SPTO has been carrying out in partnership with its member countries and regional tourism stakeholders.
“The tourism sector has the potential to play a greater role in the regional economy. It can support sustainable tourism development, facilitate investment and harness synergies between other sectors and Pacific countries. This can be achieved through the sharing of resources and the exchange of information. The pandemic gave our industry time to reset and rethink the future of Pacific tourism. Now it is time for us to work together to recover and rebuild,” said Mr. Cocker.