Sustainability on tourism agenda

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S.P.T.O’s Manager Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala-Gale with training workshop participants at the Le Vasa Resort in Upolu.

S.P.T.O’s Manager Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala-Gale with training workshop participants at the Le Vasa Resort in Upolu.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (S.P.T.O.) rolled out data collection training for 15 hotels across Samoa that volunteered to take part in its sustainability-monitoring programme. 

The training is a component of the UN 10 Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production, which aims to encourage responsible management of resources and promote economic success for individual businesses.

“S.P.T.O. is slowly advancing its role in promoting sustainable practices in the sector.  It is challenging and having a robust monitoring system in place will help us determine where we are and what we need to do to achieve our goals,” said S.P.T.O. Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Cocker.  

The monitoring programme focuses on eight indicators covering waste, energy, water management, procurement, employment, pollution, conservation and cultural heritage. 

S.P.T.O. Manager for Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala- Gale who conducted the training said sustainability in the tourism sector is critical considering the increasing threats of climate change, disasters and instability in the investment climate. 

S.P.T.O’s Manager Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala-Gale with training workshop participants at the Le Vasa Resort in Upolu.
S.P.T.O’s Manager Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala-Gale with training workshop participants at the Le Vasa Resort in Upolu.

“Tourism can consume a lot of resources and generate waste that might be harmful to the environment, therefore the accommodation sector needs to find ways that can minimize the adverse impacts on the environment, people and culture,” said Mrs. Leala-Gale.

Training was also conducted for the Samoa Tourism Authority staff to improve awareness on the importance of sustainable tourism, monitoring sustainability performance and strengthening tourism statistics and marketing in order to drive sustainability of destination ‘Beautiful Samoa’. 

The training, which was funded by U.N.D.P., was coordinated in collaboration with the following partners: Government of Samoa through Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa Hotel Association, Savaii Samoa Tourism Association and Sustainable Travel International.  

The same programme will be rolled out for interested hotel and accommodation operators in Fiji later this month.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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