Tourism in Pacific Island countries is expected to receive a boost with the completion and soon to be launched regional tourism strategy.
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is into the final lap of country consultations through workshops and stakeholder discussions at a regional level to seek valuable feedback on the first draft of a new overarching Pacific Regional Tourism Strategy (RTS) for the five-year period from 2015-2019.
The series of consultations will involve public and private sector stakeholders in Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Solomon Islands from the 25th of February through to the 12th of March.
According to SPTO CEO Mr Ilisoni Vuidreketi, the intention is to formulate an updated medium-term strategic framework to guide the industry in developing and implementing specific action plans at a regional level.
“This strategy we believe will correspond to prioritized regional needs and enjoy the greatest degree of support and ownership among tourism stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Vuidreketi said the proposed RTS is envisaged as a high-level strategic planning exercise that will identify and prioritise an integrated series of regional initiatives for the development and promotion of the tourism sector for the Pacific region.
“The new RTS will build on the 2003-2013 RTS and its 2006 Review, but also take into account current national tourism strategies and research studies undertaken in the intervening period as well as notably any national strategies being carried out under the ongoing PRTCBP,” he said.
He adds the new RTS will cover the five-year period 2015-2019 and will be developed in close consultation with all SPTO members and industry stakeholders in the region, so as to ensure the widest possible buy-in and support.
This project will be carried out within the framework of the Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme (PRTCBP), which is funded by the European Union under the 10th EDF and implemented by the SPTO.