Asia Pacific emphasise Tourism Restart and Recovery
Samoa was among United Nations World Tourism Oraganisation (UNWTO) Pacific member states which participated in the 32nd meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific.
The meeting was held virtually on 14th September due to the Pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions on travel.
At the meeting, the Commission agreed that the Asia-Pacific region has been hardest hit by the unprecedented impact of the COVID19 crisis which has brought global tourism to a complete standstill.
In looking ahead, there was shared encouragement that with the easing of restrictions, most countries in the region will begin to see positive developments.
While the world at large has yet to overcome the health, political and socio-economic challenges COVID-19 has brought about, there is optimism among members that by continuing to stay connected and capitalising on UNWTO’s innovative solutions and recommendations, recovery of travel and tourism is attainable. The areas of business continuity, technology adoption and sustainable tourism practices for the industry to emerge from the crisis stronger and more resilient to future shocks were highlighted for ongoing engagement.
At the meeting, members deliberated on restarting tourism and noted the need to balance maintaining socio-economic activity and the prevention of further spread of infections. And to achieve this emphasis was placed on enhancing safety, hygienic and health standards and protocols to build the confidence of both domestic and international visitors in the quality of tourism products and offers.
Member countries shared their experiences with travel facilitation campaigns to stimulate domestic tourism and the use of local-markets to ease the economic impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.
Other recommendations underscored during the meeting include strengthening public-private partnerships to overcome the current challenges; supporting domestic tourism to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic; formulating marketing and promotion strategies to revitalise national and regional tourism and adopting a phased approach to destination re-opening.
Samoa was represented by STA CEO Faamatuainu Lenata’i Suifua and Manager Planning & Development Tupa’i Robert Ah Sam.
The meeting concluded with elections where Samoa and Bhutan were voted in as members of the Credentials Committee.
The next meeting of the Commission will take place in 2022 in the Maldives.