Tourism policy presented to stakeholders
Amos Ronnie

The second draft of the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (VSTP) was presented to a group of stakeholders representing the government, private sector, NGOs, community and academia at the Holiday Inn on the December 14.

The Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism “living” policy document is funded by the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan (VSTAP) and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Cooperatives, under the leadership of the Department of Tourism.

The VSTP represents a stepping stone of what will be an on-going consultative process of incorporating key messages from stakeholders across Vanuatu, aligning and realigning policy across government sectors where required, and responding to internal and external events and trends.

The policy project team represented by Jerry Spooner, Laurana Rakau, Dr Cherise Addinsall and Professor Betty Weiler under the guidance of the VSTP project committee, presented a vision, goals, objectives and action measures underpinned by agreed values for Vanuatu, based in part on existing policies and legislation and in part on input from key stakeholders.

These six overarching goals were then mapped against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and International Year of Tourism for Sustainable Development, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria for destinations, the National Sustainable Development Plan (2016-2030), the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan (VSTAP) 2015-2019, the Department of Tourism Business Plan 2015-2018, the VTO Business Plan, the National Environmental Policy and Implementation Plan (2016 to 2030) and the Vanuatu’s National Oceans Policy in addition to many other national policies.

The Acting Director General [Ministry of Tourism, Trades and Cooperatives] and Acting Director (Department of Tourism) along with the policy team were very grateful to all of those who have providing what they have seen as very valuable feedback through attending interviews, forums, workshops and filling out surveys.

This information alongside the feedback from the workshop at Holiday Inn will contribute to develop the final draft of the VSTP set to be launched in February 2018.

The VSTP project team and committee suggested that the process of stakeholder engagement will continue after the launching of the VSTP policy through the development of a strategy and action plan, including awareness raising, support and training to build the capacity of stakeholders to meet the goals and objectives of the VSTP.

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