Tourism an economic driver

Tourism is a vital economic driver in the Pacific region, with the potential to bring prosperity and improve livelihoods while maintaining environmental protection through sustainable tourism.

According to ministers gathered to promote tourism and cooperation in the region, after a week of discussions among Tourism Ministers from 21 Pacific Island countries that ended last Friday 20th October.

The CEO of SPTO, Christopher Coker, expressed satisfaction with the participants, who actively engaged in the talks throughout the week.

The Council of Tourism Ministers addressed two key agendas: "Improving Regional Air Connectivity" and "Future Focused Partnerships in the Region." The importance of regional air connectivity was recognized as a top priority in SPTO's regional plan to unlock the Pacific's untapped tourism potential.

During the panel discussions, Isi Henry Leonard, PNG Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, emphasized the need for cultural tourism.

He highlighted the current demand for authentic cultural experiences in the tourism market. However, he also stressed the challenge Pacific Islanders face in preserving their cultural heritage while reaping the economic benefits of tourism.

To conclude the 2nd SPTO Meeting, Minister Leonard announced Papua New Guinea's bid to host the 4th SPTO Meeting in 2025.

He described it as a unique opportunity for Pacific leaders and delegations to come together and celebrate Papua New Guinea's 50th Independence Anniversary in the true Pacific way.

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