21 Oct 2003

Region needs planned sustainable development in tourism

4:37 pm on 21 October 2003

There's been a call for planned sustainable development in tourism in the region.

The chairman of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Robert Skewes, was speaking in the Cook Islands capital, Rarotonga, at their annual conference.

He says tourism is a growth industry for much of the Pacific but care needs to be taken to ensure that not too many travellers overwhelm either the people or the environment of their destination.

Mr Skewes says this needs careful planning.

"We have very, very developed tourism infrastructures in Tahiti, Fiji. But their needs are different. And just as the needs of Tuvalu and Tonga and other countries. We all have different needs. But underlying all that, we're selling to the same market. We're selling to the same people. We're selling the Pacific."

Mr Skewes says around 200 people involved in the tourist industry are attending the conference.