Agritourism development in the Pacific is challenging the status quo, bringing the traditional flavours, smells and produce of the Pacific to the forefront of business and policy discussions. As both tourists and locals seek a more authentic experience – in terms of travel, cuisine and other activities – a growing market is emerging which will require an enabling policy environment to help bridge the gap between the tourism and agriculture sectors.
Tourism has brought impressive economic gains for small island Pacific states, creating jobs, bringing in much needed revenue and investment. However, the rapid development of mass tourism in these and other island states has often come at a price for local industries, particularly agriculture and the rural economy. Whereas tourism brings with it increased demand for food, beverages and other consumer goods, local producers are often shut out of this lucrative market, and suffer from increased competition from imported goods used to feed tourists.
In order to promote local producers and businesses to access these tourism markets, relevant government ministries in the Pacific islands of Tonga and Tuvalu are engaging with agribusiness, tourism and hospitality stakeholders through policy workshops on the 7-8 August in Tonga and the 7&10 September in Tuvalu, in collaboration with CTA, and the Pacific Community, PIPSO, IFAD and SPTO.
These workshops will identify key areas of intervention in support of agritourism development and help to design a policy roadmap that will enable greater interministerial cooperation – especially between the ministries of agriculture and tourism – with a view to ultimately attracting funds and investments into agritourism activities and supporting product diversification, enhancing quality and value addition in local production, and generating new jobs, particularly for women and youth.
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