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To promote sustainable tourism and ecotourism through strategic planning tools and digital marketing techniques, the National Training and Productivity Centre, Fiji National University (NTPC), along with the APO Secretariat conducted a training course on Strategic Planning for Sustainable Ecotourism in the Hospitality Industry, 18–21 July. The online course was attended by 42 participants from 13 APO members, including government officials responsible for tourism development, tourism consultants and trainers from NPOs and consulting firms, SME executives, and representatives of NGOs and academia involved in planning, organizing, promoting, and managing tourism.
In the first quarter of the year, international tourism rebounded to 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels, prompting many countries to adopt sustainable practices like ecotourism to meet the growing demand for such experiences. Recognizing the significance of strategic planning in the hospitality industry to achieve sustainable ecotourism, the course aimed to unlock its potential and enhance the productive capacity of players, especially SMEs that constitute a significant portion of the industry. Equipping them to handle the surge in tourists in the postpandemic era was also a crucial aspect of the training.
The training course was in line with the APO Vision 2025 goal of assisting SMEs in the hospitality industry to achieve smart transformation and sustainability. It was conducted by four resource persons from Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines who provided insights into sustainable ecotourism, shared best practices and successful case studies from the region, explored community-based ecotourism, and discussed the impact of climate change on tourism. The course also covered digital marketing strategies for ecotourism, including SEO/SEM, social media, and Web 3.0 marketing. The course aimed to equip participants with the necessary tools, models, and methodologies for strategic planning in ecotourism. Armed with this knowledge, they can now assist ecotourism stakeholders in formulating customized plans that align with sustainable practices and principles.