Tourism Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which comprise more than 95 per cent of the Pacific’s tourism sector have been particularly hard hit by the impact of COVID-19 and will need to evolve and diversify quickly to meet new market demands if they are to survive the recovery period.
The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and The Travel Foundation are collaborating in developing a practical toolkit to help the region’s experience and excursion SMEs adapt and connect successfully to the United States of America (USA) and other international tourism marketplaces. These businesses will be encouraged and supported to implement this knowledge through virtual workshops, and opportunities for trade links created. With funding support from the US Embassy based in Fiji, the SPTO and the Travel Foundation are aiming to achieve the following desired outcomes through the Building Resilient Tourism Futures Project:
Launched in March 2021, the Building Resilient Tourism Futures Project was designed to assist the tourism industry in SPTO member countries in their recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to build the tourism industry forward to be more resilient and sustainable. The SPTO SME Recovery Toolkit comprises 7 chapters, which are independent of each other, covering important aspects of the sustainable product development cycle. Each chapter provides activities as well as tools which are in the form of templates, checklists, tips or guidance notes to support users. The toolkit also assists tourism SMEs in the Pacific respond, adapting and diversifying their products and services through an enhanced understanding of the changing tourism market and demands.
The toolkit has been informed by market research, as well as extensive country consultations through a Regional Working Group which consisted of tourism stakeholders from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and Tonga and technical support from SPTO partners
The toolkit was launched virtually via zoom on the 22nd of October 2021 and the recording can be accessed here