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Sustainable tourism

Manasa Kalouniviti
Thursday, December 07, 2017

SOUTH Pacific Tourism Organisation's (SPTO) chief executive officer Christopher Cocker says SPTO's mandate is to market and develop tourism in the Pacific.

"This training is therefore part of SPTO's support for driving sustainable 'development' of tourism in the region," he said.

Mr Cocker made these comments while delivering his message during the two-day training on Sustainable Resource Management in Hotels at the PSC Government Training Centre in Suva on Tuesday.

With the ultimate goal of attaining the UN's sustainable development goals (SDG), Mr Cocker said SPTO acknowledged that sustainable tourism was still a new concept in the region.

"Hence this training is an attempt to help build industry awareness through the sharing of practical tips, resources and useful information critical for a smooth journey in the sustainability direction," Mr Cocker said.

He said SPTO's work in sustainable tourism was still new and they recognised the challenges faced in the region including climate change, cost of doing business and resources, to name a few.

"Hence we are committed to identifying future opportunities to extend our support to the wider industry in Fiji and the Pacific."

Mr Cocker said monitoring sustainability was a huge undertaking therefore it was key for the Pacific and Fiji in particular to start measuring their sustainability performance.

"We can't manage sustainable tourism development (STD) successfully, if we do not undertake robust monitoring and measuring of STD," he said.

Mr Cocker said other PICs were awaiting the outcomes of the pilot projects in Fiji and Samoa so the feedbacks from the training was important to add value to what was already being done.

"From the training today, we will be looking for interested hotels who want to put up their hand to help us pilot the sustainability monitoring systems," he said.

Mr Cocker acknowledged the Fijian Government for their support as well as Sustainable Travel International (STI) and Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association (FHTA) and also the financial support of the UN Environment 10 Year Framework Program for Sustainable Consumption and Production.

The chief guest for the training was director economic of Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Sekove Tamanitoakula with Paloma Zapata of STI being the training facilitator.

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