22 February, 2010

Sustainable Tourism and Beyond

I have just returned home from Apia and participation at the three-day TIDES Samoa tourism conference that attracted 180 delegates from around the South Pacific and well beyond.

Most encouraging as outcomes was agreement to strengthen regional co-operation and collaboration in key areas that include destination marketing and branding, airline services and investment.
Also, the theme of sustainability was emphasised to help achieve lasting environmental, social and economic outcomes to benefit local communities.
The people of Samoa once again proved to be generous and wonderful hosts to all those involved at the conference - thank you.

My colleagues and I are already looking forward to returning to this amazing island nation. Green Samoa is so well endowed with a rich diversity of natural and cultural heritage, environment, attractions and much more.
The opportunities from well planned and developed sustainable tourism will help to secure prosperity for the current and future generation of Samoans.

This can and must include adaptation measures to make its people more resilient to the effects of human-induced global warming and climate changes.
We look forward to exploring ways to work in partnership with the Samoan community and its stakeholder organisations to meet these challenges in strategic and practical ways.  
Some of the best outcomes will be those local projects that have strong leadership, inclusive consultation and engagement, integration, collaboration, commitment, courage and creativity. Some fun and humour will also help to sustain us along that journey.

Paul Bateson
Associate
EcoSTEPS

SOURCE: Samoa Observer