“Pacific Tourism Organisation Clinches Top Honour at Commonwealth Innovation Awards 2023 for Pioneering Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework”

SPTO CEO, Christopher Cocker, receiving the award from the HE President of Kenya.

The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is delighted to announce its prestigious win in the “Promote PARTNERSHIPS for development in the Commonwealth” category at the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards 2023, held in Nairobi, Kenya.

At the heart of this recognition is SPTO’s groundbreaking initiative, the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF) 2030″. This visionary project stands out for its innovative and impactful approach to sustainable development in the Pacific region, making a significant difference in the advancement of sustainable tourism through policy guidance and integration.

The awards ceremony, which brought together exemplary individuals and groups worldwide, recognised SPTO for its outstanding contributions to communities, countries, and regions within the Commonwealth. This acknowledgment reflects SPTO’s commitment to addressing crucial development challenges by creating innovative solutions.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards serves as a global platform to honour and celebrate the remarkable efforts of innovators in the public, private, and voluntary sectors across the Commonwealth. These individuals and organisations, including SPTO, are pivotal in advancing progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In receiving the award in Nairobi, SPTO Chief Executive Officer Christopher Cocker expressed sincere gratitude for this esteemed recognition. This award reminds SPTO of its duty to serve and inspire its member countries and wider tourism stakeholders.

Mr Cocker highlighted that this achievement marked a significant milestone in SPTO’s journey, reaffirming its dedication to safeguarding our Blue Pacific Continent for the benefit of our communities, visitors, and future generations.  

“Winning the Commonwealth Innovation Award is a significant acknowledgment of our 20 SPTO Pacific Island member countries’ commitment to sustainable tourism. The PSTPF 2030 embodies our vision of a resilient, prosperous, and inclusive tourism sector. This award underscores our efforts to improve the well-being of our communities and protect and promote our rich cultures, islands, and ocean ecosystems through sustainable tourism. It aligns perfectly with our vision of empowering the Pacific Islands through sustainable tourism and our mission of driving sustainable tourism development through innovative partnerships. This recognition from such a prestigious platform not only honours and recognizes our current efforts but also strengthens our resolve to continue our mission to better the Pacific region. Finally, I would like to thank the Commonwealth Secretariat for this great honour and enabling SPTO to physically attend the awards ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya. I accept this award with honour and humility on behalf of the SPTO member countries, the SPTO Division of Sustainable Tourism, the team at TRC Tourism, the Government of New Zealand, the United Nations Development Programme and all who have contributed to this framework,”  Mr Cocker said.


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About SPTO:

Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 21 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna, and the People’s Republic of China. In addition to government members, the Pacific Tourism Organisation also enlists a private sector membership base. You can learn more about SPTO here.

Queries may be directed to aniumataiwalu@spto.org

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