The nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the latest Asia Pacific destination to consider how the GSTC Criteria could be used as a tool for tourism to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
PNG is a rich cultural and environmental tourism destination. It has more than 800 local languages (in addition to many minor dialects) which represent about a third of the world’s indigenous tongue. It is part of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity and has internationally recognized rich terrestrial biodiversity.
GSTC stalwart, Steve Noakes, has recently completed a 3-day intensive training programme in Port Moresby, on tourism and the SDGs, including introducing the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the GSTC Criteria. He undertook the first similar training in Mongolia early last month.
The lead public and private sector organizations within PNG provided senior-level representatives to the training (Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority and the PNG Tourism Industry Association).
The training workshop included inputs from the PNG office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), resulting in tourism has become the first sector within the PNG economy to collaborate with the UNDP to address how the sector can benefit from, and contribute to, the nation’s SDGs. Christine Peipul, the CEO of the PNG Tourism Industry Association said: “Absolutely great opportunity to finally connect with UNDP for discussions on future sustainable tourism development.”
The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority and the PNG Tourism Industry Association will now consider a new engagement with the GSTC. “The GSTC Criteria and the GSTC Framework can assist PNG creating clarity and a shared public/private sector vision in their sustainable development,” said Steve Noakes. “Importantly, the training has illustrated to key PNG tourism stakeholders particular how the sector can apply the GSTC tools to PNG achieving the SDGs.”
From left to right: Henry Nemo, UNDP; Michael Taia, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority; Christine Peipul, PNG Tourism Industry Association; Steve Noakes, Pacific Asia Tourism