While tourism already directly contributed to more than 12% of the total GDP for Pacific island economies in 2016, the World Travel & Tourism Council has forecast a further increase of 5 – 6% per annum for the tourism sector’s share to GDP in the Pacific between 2017 and 2027.
To address the advent of a growing tourism sector and its corresponding challenges and benefits, the Environment Impact Assessment Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development for the Pacific Islands and Territories document was launched at the South Pacific Tourism Board meeting in Apia held on Thursday 4th October, 2018.
Speaking at the launch event, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Mr. Kosi Latu said,
“We know that when our environment is looked after, we are well looked after also. As coastal tourism is a strong feature of our Pacific islands, we wanted to work with you to ensure any coastal tourism development is done well, leaving a legacy that a sustainable environment can provide. Ensuring our environment is taken into consideration is a crucial feature in the growth and development of tourism which can lead to many benefits.”
The production of the EIA Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development for the Pacific Islands and Territories was developed with funds from the ACP MEA capacity building programme.