SPTO and The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS 21) have launched the Pacific Tourism Statistics Assessment Report. The report, which was launched during the SPTO virtual board meeting, is an assessment of the region’s tourism statistics systems, undertaken in preparation for the development of a regional statistics strategy.

Officially launched at the October 2019 SPTO Board Meeting, the partnership between SPTO and PARIS 21 provides a platform for global partnerships of national, regional and international statistics experts and policy makers, with the overarching aim of improving evidence based decision making in the Pacific.

SPTO CEO, Christopher Cocker, acknowledged the consultations undertaken in Fiji, New Caledonia, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu and Cook Islands and also noted the importance of the partnership. 

“This is the first collaboration between SPTO and PARIS21 and we are very appreciative of the opportunity and continued support from PARIS21, as we work towards improving tourism statistical systems and capacities in the Pacific through the support for Pacific SIDS. It is important to note that research and stats information is king in assisting our member countries make decisions and develop plans for the future”, he said.

In his address to the SPTO Board, PARIS 21 Deputy Head, François Fonteneau, acknowledged the importance of tourism in the Pacific region which underpins their continued support for phase 2 of the project.

“Tourism in the region is a strategic sector and is one of the sectors most impacted by the pandemic globally. The economies of many countries in the Pacific region rely on tourism, and virtually all governments in the region have identified the industry as a priority sector for future economic growth. Having robust statistics and data is even more strategic now,

in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Harold and in the COVID-19 crisis”, said Mr. Fonteneau.

“Our partnership with SPTO makes a lot of sense, and we are keen to see it continuing in 2021. PARIS21 is pleased to confirm its financial support to continue the work on the development of the Pacific Tourism Statistics Strategy”, he said.

The future Pacific Tourism Statistics Strategy, informed by the findings of the Assessment, will strengthen the Pacific tourism industry’s ability to achieve the aspirations of National Development Plans, the SPTO Strategic Plan 2020-2024, the proposed Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

The draft strategy will be tabled at the next meeting of the SPTO Board of Directors in 2021.

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