A Report has been released on the Sustainable Tourism for Development in Samoa Project, outlining the progress made in the first quarter of 2017 on the scope of the work completed.
Funded through the GEF assistance to the National Tourism Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, this Project is a collaborative initiative facilitated by Sustainable Travel International and led by the Samoa Tourism Authority, where both have worked with local tourism stakeholders to develop two initiatives of a Travel Philanthropy Fund; and a Sustainability Charter.
In February 2017, Sustainable Travel International’s Senior Advisor, Jessie McComb, and Manager of Development Programs, Leah Carriere, traveled to Samoa to conduct stakeholder engagement to further the development of the Samoa travel philanthropy fund and sustainability charter. During this visit, the project team completed the targeted activities including a Savai’i Workshop; Apia Stakeholder Forum; On-Site Meetings with Potential Pilot Projects, Governance Stakeholders and Technical Assistance/ Support Partners.
The Foundation for a Sustainable Samoa is rooted in Samoa’s long-standing history of sustainable tourism management.
“A regional leader in sustainability, Samoa was one of the first countries in the world to develop sustainable tourism indicators in the year 2000 and the first country in the South Pacific to adopt the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)1 criteria for sustainable tourism.” Said the CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority.
The Travel Philanthropy Fund that will act as a new funding mechanism for small-scale sustainability initiatives that empowers visitors and business to play a more active role in improving lives and the environment in Samoa.
The Sustainability Charter that will determine the baseline for local sustainable business operators and will provide a platform and resources for all tourism businesses in Samoa to improve their sustainability performance.
A two year roadmap for the successful management and growth of the Foundation for a Sustainable Samoa has been laid in the recently released Report, where it states that it should serve to provide an overview of the current scope and recommendations for the successful management and growth of the FSS over the next two years. The recommendations included within are based on the findings of the development phase, the experiences of other travel philanthropy.
The Report thanks the leadership shown by Samoa, in which the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Alliance (PSTA) was launched in 2014 to ensure that tourism helps drive positive change across the Pacific region.
Currently, the long-term governance and management structure will be finalised, with the Tourism Private Sector Organisation – The Samoa Hotel Association (SHA) designated as the Secretariat.
(Source: Samoa Tourism Authority Monthly Newsletter 03 November 2017)