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Introducing sustainable certification to advance green tourism

8 Nov 2023

The National Training and Productivity Centre, Fiji National University held a workshop on the Green Tourism Certification Framework, 3–6 October. It was attended by 20 participants from 10 APO member economies, with sessions led by resource persons from the ROC, Fiji, and the ROK.

The tourism sector is a significant economic contributor in many APO members, generating employment and creating business opportunities. The rapid increase in tourism following the reopening of borders postpandemic has prompted more critical thinking on providing environmentally friendly, sustainable destinations and experiences. Green tourism aims to minimize the negative impacts of travel on the environment, society, and economies. Green tourism certification programs can benefit businesses, consumers, governments, and local communities by boosting sustainable productivity in the sector. However, APO members often lack experience and expertise in tourism certification schemes.

The workshop introduced the sustainable tourism certification concept,  including an overview of green tourism and ecotourism; principles of inclusive, sustainable tourism; requirements and implementation criteria for green tourism certification programs; strategic planning and development of certification programs; and challenges, opportunities, and benefits associated with green tourism. Participants gained insights into the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria for sustainability in travel and tourism, complemented by case studies and presentations on green tourism initiatives and best practices. A site visit was made to Tifajek Mud Pool and Hot Spring to observe effective green tourism practices firsthand.

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