The Cook Islands and American Samoa are the latest Pacific nations to commit to regional sustainable tourism cohesion after signing the Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment.
The Statement of Commitment re-enforces Pacific values and practices that support improved planning, development, and management of sustainable tourism.
Executive Director of the American Samoa Visitor Bureau Taimalelagi Minnie Tuia said the move was a “step forward in the right direction as our country advances its reopening plans.”
“(This) signifies our commitment to our shared vision for a better future for our people and planet through sustainable tourism,” she said.
Cook Islands Associate Minister of Tourism Tingika Elikana said the Pacific tourism industry can build back better to be more resilient, inclusive and sustainable.
“We are moving towards a unified approach here in the Pacific and I encourage those countries who have not signed on to sign on. We must commit to driving the required changes,” Mr Elikana said.
Cook Islands and American Samoa joins Tahiti, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, and Tonga, in formalising the agreement.
CEO of the the Pacific Tourism Organisation Christopher Cocker said it was encouraging to see increased support.
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“A successful recovery for the industry will require well-informed, targeted, and coordinated efforts. To achieve as much, SPTO is prioritising the implementation of the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, endorsement of the Statement of Commitment and regional forums such as the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit, which provided a platform for countries to share and learn from each other’s sustainable tourism journeys”.
“Having member countries re-affirming their support for a sustainable and more resilient recovery at the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit is great not only for these countries but also to encourage the other member countries who have yet to reaffirm their commitment and map out the way forward as we work towards positively contributing towards the 2030 agenda”, Mr Cocker said.