Pacific Island countries contribute to cruise development strategy

Pacific Island Countries (PICs) that were chosen to participate in consultations to develop the Pacific Cruise Tourism Development Strategy (PCTDS) 2015-2019 have contributed invaluable insights into the varying levels of cruise tourism in the region.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) conducted six in-country consultations through workshops and stakeholder discussions at a national level to seek valuable feedback from the private and public sector to develop the PCTDS. 

The workshops focused on examining and evaluating key elements that were proposed during the Pacific Cruise Development workshop that was held in Melbourne in June this year. Stakeholders also discussed the best options to adopt in the strategy, keeping in mind the various action steps proposed to put each element into effect.

The consultations were held in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tahiti, Kiribati and Fiji within the framework of the European Union supported Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme (PRTCBP), which is implemented by the SPTO. Over 140 stakeholders participated in the various consultations across the region.

According to SPTO Chief Executive Ilisoni Vuidreketi, the SPTO through the tourism government agencies invited a wide cross-section of the cruise tourism sector to the consultations.

“We ensured that a wide cross-section of the cruise tourism sector was invited to discuss and identify the top ten strategies that SPTO should include in the Pacific Cruise Tourism strategy over the next five years,” he said.   

Vuidreketi said 23 key elements, derived from the Melbourne workshop in June, were discussed and prioritized at the consultations. 

“The stakeholders were requested to prioritize the ten elements according to what is deemed pertinent in their respective cruise industries for SPTO to implement. We are pleased to note that the countries that have participated in this exercise have given us a lot of insight into the issues within the cruise tourism sector in the region”, he said.

The findings from the consultations will be used to develop the Pacific Cruise Tourism Development Strategy (PCTDS) 2015-2019 which the SPTO will submit for approval at the Council of Tourism Ministers meeting in Tahiti in October.