The Pacific Tourism Organisation’s Sustainable Tourism Manager, Ms. Christina Leala Gale, was a panelist in the closing session of the Water, WASH, and Climate Virtual Symposium on Thursday 23rd June. Hosted by the Water and WASH Futures team, the symposium brought together a range of stakeholders to discuss amongst other things, the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration given that water is a key connector between sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and energy.
In providing her interventions during the closing session Ms. Leala Gale noted that whilst tourism is a resource-intensive sector, it is heartening to see that there is an appetite for more responsible tourism development in the region.
“In 2019 SPTO’s member countries called for a strategic framework to guide regional efforts towards sustainability. This resulted in the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF), which essentially supports collective action towards meeting the Pacific’s sustainable tourism goals and vision”, she said.
Adding to these sentiments, SPTO CEO Christopher Cocker noted the upcoming work of SPTO’s Division of Sustainable Tourism which will build on the objectives of the PSTPF.
“In the coming weeks, we will also be developing the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Criteria which national governments can adopt or adapt to better suit their context and issues. These will include monitoring sustainability to measure progress in areas such as resource efficiency”, said Mr Cocker.
Both the PSTPF and the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Criteria are funded through a partnership with the New Zealand government, which has seen SPTO implement the Organizational Development and Tourism Recovery Programme (Phase 1) and the Pacific Digital Tourism Transformation Project (Phase 2).
Goal four of the PSTPF highlights healthy oceans and islands and will be a driving force behind SPTO’s efforts to improve monitoring and evidence-based planning, towards improved water resource management within the Pacific tourism sector.