The South Pacific Tourism Organisation is working with partners to boost industry awareness of sustainability in the hotel sector in Samoa and Fiji through the roll out of industry awareness and training programmes on Sustainable Resource Management in Hotels.
In a collaborative effort with the Governments of Fiji and Samoa and technical support provided by Sustainable Travel International and SPTO, the training programmes are being piloted in these two countries with a focus on acquiring lessons learnt to develop a replicable approach for the region.
The activity stems from an understanding of the need to build and strengthen stakeholder awareness and capacity in embracing the sustainable tourism development concept and for the industry to increase understanding of the business case in crafting sustainable tourism businesses and destinations.
Conducted under the SPTO Sustainability Monitoring Programme with funding contributions from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNDP Pacific Office, the programme aims to encourage the private sector to show commitment through simple yet practical actions that make a difference.
An interactive 4-day training has recently been completed on the 23rd to 28th November in Upolu and Savaii with hotel operators, managers, employees and staff of the Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa Hotel Association and Savaii Samoa Tourism Association staff. The training included a Train the Trainer component and one-on-one site consultations with selected hotel properties.
Sustainability is understandably still a big concept for the industry in Samoa with increased awareness and education on the concept needed at all levels from Government (policy makers) to individual hotels.
“When I think of sustainability, I think of the environment, we need to ensure that we care for the environment now for the sake of our children,” said Amoa Resort owner on Savaii, Ms. Anita Jamieson-Cafarelli. “We still need to make those links with the way we operate hotels,” she added.
Participants at the workshop were encouraged to contribute to measuring sustainability performance with the training designed to support sector priorities outlined in the Samoa Tourism Development Plan.
It is also part of the Pacific tourism sector’s contribution to the achievement of the SDGs and is a timely effort that supports global commitment to promoting the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The Fiji training workshop is held in Suva and Nadi this week from the 5th to 8th December and conducted in collaboration with the Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association.