Samoa hosts Pacific tourism ministers

Samoa Tourism Authority C.E.O., Papali'i Sonja Hunter. Picture: Misiona Simo

APIA, 01 OCTOBER 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – Tourism Ministers from 17 Pacific Island countries will meet in Apia for the 28th annual Council of Tourism Ministers meeting this week to discuss tourism development in the region.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Protecting our Blue Pacific, Our Livelihood and Our Home” and Samoa Tourism Authority CEO, Papali’i Sonja Hunter, expects discussions to focus on critical tourism issues that affect the sustainability of Pacific Peoples and their everyday lives.

“It is exciting and will be a busy week in Apia as we look forward to collective and fruitful discussions on critical tourism issues that affect the sustainability of our everyday lives, as well as following up on current projects for tourism development within our Pacific region. We look forward to welcoming everyone to beautiful Samoa.”

Papali’i is also the chairperson for the South Pacific Tourism Organisation and she is confident that Samoa is ready to host this significant five-day event. It starts with the UNESCO Roundtable on building sustainable tourism for green/blue livelihoods in Pacific Island countries and territories, which will be held today.

The Roundtable will provide an opportunity to explore the most effective way of bringing initiatives, which showcase sustainable tourism that focus on culture, nature, social inclusion and responsible tourism for the Pacific.

Also on the agenda will be a discussion on the 2019 Regional Marketing plan, which includes updates from popular online travel portal, Trip Advisor. They will look at issues affecting the industry such as sexual harassment across the Pacific tourism industry.

The STA CEO said they were also excited to host the 2nd Pacific Tourism Insights conference mid-week, which will feature a lineup of dynamic influencers in the industry, who will introduce concepts based on innovative and disrupting thinking.

Presentations will be given by AirBnB, Google Destination Marketing Organisation, and the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC), tackling sustainable development in the Pacific through sport and physical activity.

The Council of Tourism Ministers Meeting is scheduled for this Friday and will feature updates on the China Pacific Tourism Year (CPTY) 2019 and regional projects. All events will be held at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Greys Hotel and  Bungalows in Apia.

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