1 million and counting

Region pushes for more tourists

CAUTION – the one word that describes the response of regional tourist destinations to a World Bank reports which predicts revenue gains of up to $US1.8 billion per year and 128,000 jobs by 2040. Launched at the South Pacific Tourism Organisation’s annual board meeting on the Gold Coast, Australia, the report suggested significant gains with careful and sustainable planning around emerging visitor.

The Pacific Possible: Tourism report, will now be circulated for public comment with responses expected from member countries within six weeks from May 23. Initial concerns expressed by SPTO members centre on environmental sustainability and the effects of an influx of tourists from the burgeoning Chinese market. Cook Islands Travel CEO, Halatoa Fua, said waste management was a problem for many small Pacific island nations – particularly atolls like the Cooks and Kiribati – even with current population size and visitor numbers.

“Additional arrivals are good for the economy but we will need to consider these against the impact on the environment and the sustainability of very fragile ecosystems,” Fua said. “Sustainability of the environment is crucial to survival of our tourism industry. “Waste management and water sanitation are two areas which we will need to address very carefully when it comes to developing tourism.”

The World Bank report has recommended four key strategy areas for attention: improving international transport links to the region; attracting higher-spending tourists; improved public sector engagement; and improving linkages between tourism and local economies. escortdate.co.nz auckland escorts

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