For the first time in its history the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) has convened a virtual meeting of its Board of Directors; comprising of government representatives from 20 Pacific Island countries and China, along with four representatives from the private sector.
First on the agenda for yesterday’s meeting was the election of a Chair and Deputy Chairperson of the board and in that regard Mr. Halatoa Fua of the Cook Islands was elected as the Chairman for a term of three years.
Mr. Fua, the CEO of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, had previously been serving as the Interim Chairman of the Board and in acknowledging his appointment he made mention of the important work that lies ahead for the organisation in light of COVID-19.
“Over the years tourism has solidified its role as one of the most economically viable sectors in our region and although the impacts of COVID-19 have been prolonged and severe, we must look ahead and capitalize on opportunities which will help us to not only recover but rethink our collective approach to the future of our Pacific tourism industry”, said Mr. Fua.
“Under new and reinvigorated leadership and with the support of all stakeholders, it is my hope that SPTO can position itself as a global leader in sustainable tourism development which will enable meaningful contribution to the realization of tourism’s full potential in our region”.
Mr. Josefa Tuamoto, CEO of Tourism Solomons, was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Board. In his address to the Board, Mr. Tuamoto emphasized the need for regional cooperation and solidarity in order to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19 but particularly in relation to the reopening of borders in the region.
The SPTO Board meeting will conclude today.