Handicrafts are a way of life, and source of income for women in rural areas of Tonga and Vanuatu. In 2006, it was estimated that 26.4% of the active Tongan population were involved in handicraft production. With the help of Carnival Australia, and the International Trade Centre, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with Dr. Louise Twining-Ward of Sustainable Travel International to design a project to benefit women handicraft producers and cultural service providers in the region.
Sustainable destinations ensure the economic benefits of tourism are realized locally. This project aims to stimulate community development by empowering women handicraft vendors in the South Pacific, through market research, capacity building and strategic planning efforts.