Niue: Tourism Chief of another island nation says no to plastic

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Niue Tourism chief executive Felicity Bollen said the country had set aside the next 12 months to wean itself off the habit of a lifetime.

Ms Bollen said Niue had learned from the experience of Vanuatu which implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene boxes on 1 July.

Niue is a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s known for its limestone cliffs and coral-reef dive sites. Migrating whales swim in Niue’s waters between July and October. In the southeast is the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area, where trails through fossilized coral forests lead to the Togo and Vaikona chasms. The northwest is home to the rock pools of Avaiki Cave and the naturally formed Talava Arches.

Niue’s tourism chief said: “Vanuatu had to adjust its schedule for introducing the ban because the initial time frame it set of less than six months was too tight.”

Ms Bollen said a year will give Niue enough time to embed a change in culture.
“The way that we’re going to do it is with the assistance of the governments of Niue and New Zealand.

“We’re actually going to provide substitute bags for every family on Niue. We will be providing them with reusable organic bags for every household. We’re looking at four per household,” she said.

Along with Vanuatu and Niue, Papua New Guinea and Samoa have also announced plans to ban single-use plastic bags.

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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.