Sustainability Data Collection Training In Samoa

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The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) rolled out data collection training for 15 hotels across Samoa that volunteered to take part in its sustainability-monitoring programme.

The training is a component of the UN 10 Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production, which aims to encourage responsible management of resources and promote economic success for individual businesses.

“SPTO is slowly advancing its role in promoting sustainable practices in the sector.  It is challenging and having a robust monitoring system in place will help us determine where we are and what we need to do to achieve our goals” said SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Cocker.

The monitoring programme focuses on 8 indicators covering waste, energy, water management, procurement, employment, pollution, conservation and cultural heritage.

SPTO Manager for Sustainable Tourism Development, Christina Leala- Gale who conducted the training said sustainability in the tourism sector is critical considering the increasing threats of climate change, disasters and instability in the investment climate.

“Tourism can consume a lot of resources and generate waste that might be harmful to the environment, therefore the accommodation sector needs to find ways that can minimize the adverse impacts on the environment, people and culture”, said Gale.

Training was also conducted for the Samoa Tourism Authority staff to improve awareness on the importance of sustainable tourism, monitoring sustainability performance and strengthening tourism statistics and marketing in order to drive sustainability of destination ‘Beautiful Samoa’.

The training, which was funded by UNDP, was coordinated in collaboration with the following partners: Government of Samoa through Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa Hotel Association, Savaii Samoa Tourism Association and Sustainable Travel International.  The same programme will be rolled out for interested hotel and accommodation operators in Fiji later this month.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.