Tourism can play an important role in building community resilience and protecting biodiversity

© David Kirkland

Pacific Sustainable Tourism Alliance

Pacific Island nations are home to some of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems and indigenous cultures. Largely because of their natural and cultural interest, tourism is the only industry that has grown consistently over the last five years. But that growth has come at an environmental and social cost and brings increasing risk. The region is the world’s most vulnerable to overfishing, deforestation, ocean acidification, climate change and habitat destruction. If current patterns continue, 75 percent of the region’s fisheries will be unable to meet local demand by 2030.

Tourism can play an important role in building community resilience and protecting biodiversity, but only when it is well managed with community participation and enagement. Sustainable Travel International is working with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) to change this current reality and ensure that the tourism sector delivers on its potential to positively impact lives and protect places.

The Pacific Sustainable Tourism Alliance (PSTA) was launched in 2014 with the goal of improving the lives of at least 150,000 living in the region by 2018.  The PSTA is an innovative regional partnership, engaging local leaders from the business community, NGOs and local governments. The alliance is modeled after the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) and takes a regional approach to ensuring tourism is a positive force for change in the Pacific.

The alliance is committed to the following:

  • Maximizing the benefits of tourism for local communities and residents
  • Protecting the region’s natural and cultural assets by conserving its land and marine resources
  • Embedding sustainability practices in the day-to-day management and marketing of destinations

For more information on the SPDA, please contact Louise Twining-Ward.

UN-OHRLLS Endorses the Alliance