Under an agreement between the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and the East West Center (EWC), SPTO was privileged to have the opportunity to provide a brief presentation to the April- May 2023 cohort of the Pacific Islands Young Economic Empowerment Leaders Program. In delivering her presentation this past week, SPTO Division of Sustainable Tourism Manager, Christina Leala Gale, noted the importance of recognizing tourism’s many cross-sectoral links.
“As entrepreneurs from a variety of sectors, you may not immediately see the ways in which tourism impacts your businesses or organisations but as a key economic driver, tourism plays a significant role in the trends that we see in other sectors such as agriculture, industry and transportation to name a few”.
In her presentation, Ms. Leala Gale highlighted the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF), which enshrines the aspirations of SPTO, its member countries and sector stakeholders in relation to sustainable tourism development in the Pacific. The presentation also explained the over-arching vision of the region where by 2030 “we are empowered by, and benefitting 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”. In realising this vision, the presentation noted the inter-connected goals addressing economic, cultural, and environmental and community focussed considerations. Ms. Leala- Gale also noted that the positive impacts of sustainable tourism development would not be exclusive to tourism but would have flow-on effects in other sectors. Moreover, she also explained that the PSTPF could be used to inform relevant industry-specific action in other sectors.
Acknowledging the importance of SPTO’s support of the program, Chief Executive, Christopher Cocker, noted the need for regional agencies to work collaboratively, particularly in relation to up-skilling our people who are the Pacific’s greatest asset.
“Professional development and networking is important across sectors, especially during this period of transformation, post pandemic. SPTO is pleased to be able to work with EWC, in promoting this program for the benefit of Pacific people”.
“Tourism has a variety of key stakeholders, one of which is the private sector. As such, SPTO will certainly continue to promote this program widely in the hope that tourism’s private sector base can also benefit from it”.
A second cohort is planned for 0ctober – November 2023, for which the application deadline closed in late April. The third cohort is planned for February – March, 2024. The application period for this cohort, will be advertised in due course.