Samoa to host 28th SPTO Council of Ministers of Tourism Meeting in 2018
The Regional Ministers of Tourism at the 27th meeting of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Council of Ministers held in Port Vila, Vanuatu last week approved the Government of Samoa’s proposal to host SPTO’s series of meetings in 2018, which include the 28th SPTO Council of Ministers of Tourism meeting.
Samoa’s proposal was presented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Tourism Authority Papali’i Matatamali’i Sonja Hunter.
During the meeting in Vanuatu, Regional Ministers of Tourism were reminded that regional collaboration and partnership through learning and exchange will ensure the sustainability of the regional tourism industry. The comments were made by the, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business from Vanuatu, Honorable Joe Y. Natuman at the opening of the meeting on Friday October 27th, which brought to an end a week of regional tourism meetings in Port Vila.
The Ministers were briefed on a number of regional tourism activities including the progress to date on the agri- tourism initiative by the key partners, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), SPTO, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the Pacific Community (SPC).
The Ministers expressed their support for planned regional and national activities outlined in the way forward for agritourism development in the Pacific and approved that SPTO develop proposals and seek funding to support the development and promotion of food tourism in the Pacific.
The Council of Ministers meeting was preceded by the SPTO Board of Directors meeting where a number of issues related to SPTO’s policies, activities, work programme and budget were passed. Prior to the Board meeting, a regional marketing meeting was also held to discuss regional tourism marketing efforts.
Other key decisions made in relation to the work of SPTO, include the approval by the Board of Directors of a Terms of Reference for the recruitment of an Aviation Expert to undertake a review of the aviation sector and develop high level strategies and priority regional actions for endorsement by SPTO members.
The Directors also approved the proposed three-year Private Sector Membership Strategy (2018 – 2020) and 2018 Membership & Corporate Sponsorship Work Plan tabled by SPTO and have given their support to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development in the Pacific region that have been developed.
The Directors also approved the proposal by SPTO to join the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as an Affiliate Member which will be very beneficial to SPTO’s government and private sector members.
The Council of Ministers meeting was attended by 17 of SPTO’s 18 government members including Samoa.