Pacific looks to new organic tourism standard to distinguish destinations

Pacific looks to new organic tourism standard to distinguish destinationsTourism operators from around the Pacific region are meeting on the island of Nadi this week to discuss development of a draft standard for ‘Organic Tourism and Hospitality‘.

The standard is on the Pacific Organic Standard and follows the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and other global sustainability standards.”The standard is one of a few in the world and will mean that tourism operators like hotels will be able to buy from organic certified farmers fresh and value added products through a certified organic value chain,” said Karen Mapusua, co-ordinator of the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community of the Pacific Community (POETCom), adding that it could be applied to menu items, food/catering providers or whole destinations to create market opportunities for local farmers.

According to Mapusua, if food, products and hospitality services met environmental and social requirements, operators would qualify to be certified to the standard and use the “Organic Pasifika” mark in their branding and marketing.

“This means they have an organic guarantee they can use to market their destinations.”

The draft standard is underpinned by critical issues like environmental protection, water, soil protection, and conservation of water, renewable energy and the reduction of carbon footprints. “We are supportive of this development,” said Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism representative Ana Ungatea Palu, “because when we use this requirement, providing organic standards for the food and services we provide in the tourism sector, it will set us apart and showcase the Pacific Islands and the uniqueness we offer.”

Read the original article: Organic tourism standard – Fiji Times Online

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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