The South Pacific Tourism Organisation participated in the Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop for Solomon Islands on the 21st and 22nd of November aimed at promoting sustainable use of local food by the tourism industry through strengthened intersectoral policies.
The workshop was organised by the Government of Solomon Islands in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisaton (PIPSO), SPTO, Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Development (CTA), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the Pacific Community (SPC).
During the two days stakeholders discussed ways
SPTO CEO Chris Cocker said, “SPTO member countries like Solomon Islands have recognised tourism as an important driving sector and the lifeblood of many Pacific economies. Over the last few years, these countries have also recognised agritourism as a promising avenue for diversification and trade growth, and we have had policy setting workshops in Vanuatu and Samoa, and now Solomon Islands, in recognition of this”.
It is recognised that very little of the food purchasing bills of tourism sites is spent locally even when supplies are available from local farmers, fisherman and small scale agribusinesses. Tourism operations can significantly increase their contribution to local economic development by shifting food sourcing to local suppliers.
Solomon Islands have natural and cultural potential to develop its tourist market further by diversifying its tourism policy and strengthening its linkages with the agriculture industry. Further development is expected to increase resilience of food systems and incomes for rural communities. The meeting discussed how a policy on agritourism will also develop linkages with the health sector ensuring that it supports national campaigns towards nutritious and healthy food.
The workshop was attended by 30 participants mostly farmers, growers and producers as well as chefs and actors from the hospitality sector. Key features of the 2-day workshop were presentations and group work by Government officials and members of the public sector from Agriculture, Trade, Health and Tourism Ministries.
Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 18 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the People’s Republic of China. In addition to government members, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation enlists a private sector membership base.
For more information, contact:
Alisi Lutu, Marketing Manager
South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or +679 3304177
(Source: South Pacific Tourism Organisation [SPTO] Press Release 28 November 2017)