Recognition of the importance of regional sustainable tourism cohesion in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic was the motivating factor behind French Polynesia’s endorsement of the Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment this past week.
By signing the Commitment French Polynesia has become the tenth Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) member to formalize its endorsement, joining the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, New Caledonia, Niue, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
The Statement of Commitment is underpinned by Pacific values and practices that support improved planning, development and management of sustainable tourism, so as to preserve the future of Pacific destinations for future generations of the Blue Pacific.
Whilst signing the Commitment the President of French Polynesia and Minister responsible for Tourism, Hon. Edouard Fritch, noted the linkages between the regional commitment and the country’s Tourism Development Strategy (Faariira’a manihini 2027).
“At the national level we are revitalizing our efforts towards greater sustainability and inclusivity in the tourism sector so we are pleased to be supporting these same sentiments at the regional level through the Pacific Leader’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment.
"French Polynesia recognizes the importance of coordination, cooperation and commitment as we work towards a successful and sustainable Pacific tourism recovery”, he said.
In acknowledging French Polynesia’s official endorsement SPTO CEO Mr. Christopher Cocker noted that the on-going support for the Commitment was encouraging, especially as SPTO prepares to host the inaugural Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit (PSTLS) in the Cook Islands in November.
“A successful recovery for the industry will require well informed, targeted and coordinated efforts. In order to achieve as much, SPTO is prioritizing the implementation of the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, endorsement of the Statement of Commitment and regional forums such as the PSTLS, which will provide a platform for countries to share and learn from each other’s sustainable tourism journeys”.
“It is great to see so many of our member countries re-affirming their support for a smarter, sustainable and more resilient recovery. We will work hard to get more of our membership on board ahead of the November meetings, which will be an opportune time to map out the way forward as we work towards positively contributing towards the 2030 agenda”, said Mr. Cocker.