The Sustainable Tourism sector remains a key driver of economic activity in SIDS and partnerships at the national, regional and international levels – including PPPs – play a crucial role in achieving sustainable tourism and ensuring socio-economic activities that supports livelihoods in SIDS.
Sustainable tourism is a cross-cutting sector that has the ability to address broad issues affecting and achieving sustainable development in SIDS. However, unless carefully managed, tourism can be a major global threat to the environment and to local culture and industry. To address these risks and harness tourism as a source for sustainable development and poverty alleviation, various partnerships are needed including those between big business, ICT providers, transport, trade associations, farmers and fishermen. Partnerships are key to accessing local markets, resources and governments. The importance of trust and commitment in private sector partnerships to build up new businesses in new destinations is crucial. Partnerships will not work if it is not a win-win situation, with trust as a vital tool to develop a tourism destination. Genuine and durable partnerships can result in higher value tourism, protected environmental and cultural resources and greater involvement of communities and their connections to appropriate markets.
Featured Partnerships from the 2014 Private Sector Partnerships Forum
The World Travel and Tourism Council announced that the Global Travel Association Coalition was working on strengthening collaboration to streamline economic and employment reporting in tourism with a focus on “One Voice” to promote travel & tourism’s role as an engine of economic growth and employment. Click here learn more.
Sustainable Travel International announced the South Pacific Destination Alliance, a new multi-sector alliance for sustainable destination management with a long-term view of protecting resources and improved livelihoods through tourism. Click here to learn more.
National Geographic Expeditions’ Pristine Seas Initiative announced a new expedition to Palau and aims to support the world’s first nationwide marine reserve. Efforts will promote conservation and help marine life while increasing awareness and visitation. Click here to learn more.
G Adventures showcased its partnership with Planeterra Foundation alongside the Inter-American Development Bank on a market-driven destination approach with new implementation partners in the Sustainable Destination Alliance for the Americas. The partnership will focus on community development expertise and private sector linkages. Efforts will also support sustainability action projects and destination product enhancement in the Caribbean. Click here to learn more.
Samoa’s Women in Business Inc. showcased its Farm to Table Initiative with new training programs for youth, focused on employment opportunities through organic agriculture. Trainees will learn important skills in transforming their gardens and plantations into business opportunities. It is envisaged that the initiative will be expanded across the Pacific region. Click here to learn more.
The United Nations Environment Programme showcased its Green Passport campaign to encourage demand for sustainable tourism products and services and greater sustainability within the supply chain. The expectations for 2015 include the expansion into various destinations and to leverage future mega-sporting events to scale-up the impacts of the campaign. To learn more about UNEP’s Green Passport, click here.
Featured Partnerships from the 2014 Third International Conference on SIDS
The Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), is one of the first systems, if not the first, to achieve the integration of the principle elements of sustainable tourism, analyzing good management practices, the environmental and social impacts of services, as well as the client’s perception of image and the congruence between the service offered and the product’s promotion. In its four years of operation in Costa Rica, CST has been able to objectively measure sustainability of operating businesses, improve business environmental and social practices, and motivate businesses to improve practices and clients to choose sustainable tourist businesses.
The main objective of this proposal is to transfer CST and make it fully applicable in other countries, in such a way that these countries can share a common foundation for promoting sustainability in tourism. Click here to learn more.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA A) and SPTO share a common interest in developing the cruise tourism industry in the Pacific region and have identified areas where the two organisations can work together to promote and develop a strategic way forward for the industry in the region.
This partnership is an undertaking between CLIA A and SPTO to work together to grow cruise tourism in the South Pacific in a manner that is both sustainable and brings economic and social benefits to the region. Click here to learn more.
- South Pacific Tourism Organisation
- Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA A)
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism is an organizational network of tourism stakeholders of the public and private sectors, non-profits, UN agencies and programmes, international organizations and academic institutions. Partner organizations share the common vision and understanding of the goal of “sustainable tourism” and collaborate internationally, regionally or nationally to transform tourism globally.
The mission is to transform the way tourism is done worldwide by building partnerships to support the implementation of sustainable tourism practices at destinations through adoption of effective policies, innovative and transformative projects, sharing of knowledge and experience. Click here to learn more.
The partnership aims to contribute to local economic development in Small Island Developing States by:
- Assessing tourism quality and sustainability of SIDS islands
- Evaluating and improving their status as sustainable tourism destinations, including shared focus on energy, water and climate adaptation and mitigation
- Strengthening local capacity to enhance sustainability performance, and to enhance destination quality
- Creating a coordinated framework to continue, improve and structure the existing cooperation in the field of tourism destination sustainability, between the Green Destinations network and stakeholders in a number of SIDS destinations. This existing cooperation has already led to the inclusion of a substantial number of SIDS destinations in the Global Sustainable Tourism Review (GSTR). GSTR-information on these SIDS destinations is used by various online tourism agencies, OTAs, including Booking.com affiliate BookDifferent.com. Unfortunately, the visibility of the existing SIDS destinations in the tourism sector is still relatively poor
- Creating an improved ability to target a growing high value tourism market, whilst increasing marketing visibility of SIDS destinations in global tourism sector
- Supporting the development of strategic economic development consistent with sustainable tourism development and of unique island brands for sustainable tourism destinations. In partnership with islands, this can include facilitating targeted external investments within and external to the tourism sector, including energy and water
Click here to learn more.
Green Destinations (The Netherlands, Spain)
Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) (The Netherlands, Spain, Lithuania).
QualityCoast International (The Netherlands).
Global Sustainable Tourism Network (GSTN).
Sustainable Energy Development and Sustainable Tourism Projects & Centre for Energy Technologies, Aarhus University (Herning, Denmark)
Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas
Some of the world’s most popular and appealing travel destinations are in jeopardy, vulnerable to issues like climate change and unsustainable development. Several leading organizations have joined forces to address these challenges head-on by helping tourism destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America to safeguard their natural and cultural assets, while enhancing communities and securing a vibrant regional economy.
In its first year, the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) is offering seven destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America significant support with their sustainability efforts. The vision is to expand to 30+ destinations over the next few years. This will make it one of the largest scale initiatives globally.
- Organization of American States,
- Caribbean Tourism Organization,
- global NGO Sustainable Travel International,
- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.,
- Secretariat of Central American Tourism Integration, and
- United States Government through the United States Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States
The objective of the Partnership is to advance a policy framework and best practice guidelines for a resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the Pacific (focusing on SPTO member countries). Explicit consideration of knowledge and experience both related to disasters and climate change impacts will be integrated in a holistic approach. Click here to learn more.
- United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
- South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
- Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
- Griffith University (Griffith Institute for Tourism and Climate Change Response Programme), Australia
- Lincoln University, New Zealand
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is a potential partner with whom discussions are at an advanced stage. UNWTO is expected to join this Tourism Resilience Partnership by September.
Featured Photo Credit: TBD