The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) has launched the “Pacific Tourism: COVID19 Impact and Recovery Report”. The report was contracted by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZMFAT), who have worked together with SPTO to undertake the assessment. The report released today is Phase 1B of 3 phases and focuses on several Pacific Island countries.

The report outlines initial impacts and emerging responses across the Pacific and will no doubt aid decision-making by Pacific tourism sector organisations and businesses.

“The objective of this analysis is to inform thinking and to highlight future themes around Pacific regional cooperation for tourism’s recovery from COVID-19,” said SPTO interim Chair, Mr. Halatoa Fua.

Mr Fua acknowledged New Zealand as a key partner who has always stepped up to assist the region and the Pacific Tourism industry, “The relationship between New Zealand and the Pacific has long been underpinned by reciprocity and care. We are extremely grateful to New Zealand for taking the initiative to undertake this survey and share the report, which will provide valuable inputs into the development of Pacific country strategies for tourism recovery”.

In response to COVID 19’s devastating impacts on Pacific Tourism, SPTO launched the “Pacific Wave Recovery Fund”, whose first donor was NZ Maori Tourism with a pledge of NZ$50,000.The fund remains open to donors and development partners and according to Christopher Cocker, SPTO Chief Executive Officer, the Pacific Tourism Report will not only influence the use of the fund but also the overall work of SPTO in the coming months.

“Through the Pacific Wave Recovery Fund, we hope to engage, inspire and assist our Pacific Tourism family and this report will help in achieving that. The assistance from NZMFAT and related opportunities for further cooperation are greatly appreciated and will inform and assist SPTO’s Regional Recovery Plan and long term vision of becoming a global leader in Sustainable Tourism,” he said.

The Pacific Tourism: COVID19 Impact and Recovery Report highlights the importance of future Pacific coordination in tourism and the value of SPTO’s role in this area. Further phases of the initiative will focus on recovery scenarios and future tourism programme pathways. The contractor undertaking the independent assessment is Auckland-based aviation and tourism specialist Forward HQ.

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