Tourism stakeholders share knowledge on keeping children and communities safe

Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya with tourism stakeholders at the workshop today. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI GOVT

Fiji’s Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya officiated at the opening of the Child Safe Tourism Stakeholders Workshop in Westin Denarau today.

The workshop, in partnership with the Australian Volunteers International (AVI), emphasised on bringing together key stakeholders of the tourism sector to impart knowledge on identifying the role of tourism operators in keeping children and communities safe.

Through this workshop, participants were provided an opportunity to understand the interaction and impact tourism activities have on children through tourism activities and how they can reduce the risks of harm to children and communities.

Designed by the AVI, the workshop was facilitated by the Child Safe Volunteering Hub Pacific, in collaboration with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Distinctly, the tourism industry is a leading global force for positive change across many economies around the world, including Fiji.

Therefore, the need to establish a fully functioning industry supported by the public sector, were canvassed on the day by way of touchstones such as policy instruments, planning, guidelines and standards to name a few.

In his opening remarks, Mr Koya reiterated the ministry’s collaboration greatly reinforced the tourism sector’s active participation in fostering responsible tourism.

“The tourism industry has huge potential to positively impact children’s rights. So we must make a concerted effort to safeguard their wellbeing across all interactions in the tourism value chain,” stated Mr Koya.

“Fiji has long been recognised as a safe family friendly destination. And this is something we greatly pride ourselves in. To maintain recognition as a family friendly destination doesn’t only mean caring for others but for our own. We must extend this duty of care to our children, especially those in communities who are in one way or another involved in the industry.”

By creating awareness, participants were equipped with the knowledge of understanding the importance of working together, in an active network with the ministry to promote child safe tourism.

In addition, the workshop extended the need for ensuring sustainable tourism child safety and community safety in response to the growing demand of tourism activity on Fijian shores.

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