23 May 2016

World Bank report a wake-up call for Pacific tourism

2:52 pm on 23 May 2016
Beach in Kiribati

Beach in Kiribati Photo: RNZI

A new report from the World Bank says a business as usual scenario for tourism in the Pacific will not result in significant tourism growth.

The Pacific Possible: Tourism report stated that without careful and sustainable planning Pacific countries could lose billions of dollars in earnings and up to 128,000 new jobs by 2040.

The report recommended a focus on improving transport links, attracting higher spending tourists, better public sector engagement and improving links between tourism and the local economies.

The Bank's senior technical specialist, John Perrottet, said in the Pacific there were significant opportunities for sustainable growth in the Chinese tourist, cruise ship, luxury travel and retiree markets.

"So I think it is an opportunity to sit down now and think about how each country can take advantage of that. And I guess that is one of the key messages is that the bank and the donor community are standing by to assist here to the extent that we can to help guide that process."