November 2007

The Travel Bug - Issue 33

New Hotel Eco-certification for South Pacific

Tour Pacific is one of the leading tour operators in Scandinavia for travels to the South Pacific region and a specialist in this sector. From November 2007 the company implemented a new internal certification program for hotels and resorts that awards their sustainable and environmental engagement. Tour Pacific has identified that at the present era, environmental performance is getting more and more important. The eco certifications will be implemented in several steps, first at the Cook Islands.

Lars Jonsson, Managing Director of Tour Pacific, says “If we can implement the eco certifications on the Cook Islands successfully we will expand our project to all of our destinations in the South Pacific. Furthermore the program will be reissued in 2009. These further destinations are Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa and Tonga”.

The certification looks at the water, energy, waste and washing management of hotels and resorts and is implemented through an internet based research. All our hotels that comply with the requirements will be labelled in our marketing says Mr. Tobias Kreuzpointner, project leader. For more information, contact Tour Pacific on e-mail: lars.jonsson@tourpacific.se or tobias.kreuzpointner@tourpacific.se (Source: Tour Pacific 14 November 2007)

Kite Surfing - New Sport Now in Samoa

It’s a sport that is causing a stir worldwide as more and more people take part in the phenomenon, and now it’s come to Samoa – the sport of Kite Surfing. A hybrid of both kiting and surfing the sport is attracting more people each year – and now it’s available right here. Also known as Kiteboarding, or just Kiting, the sport involves using a power kite to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or kiteboard.

Aquasamoa Watersports is now offering both Kite Surfing and Kite Surfing lessons and can steer you into the right direction for techniques, maneuvers and safety. “It was just a fluke really,” says Aquasamoa owner/manager Kat Roast, “We had a group of Kite Boarders stay here at Aggie Grey’s Resort a couple of months ago, they were all experienced professional Kiters who have been around the world pursuing the sport, and yet they thought that here in Samoa they had found some of the best conditions in the world to Kiteboard.” Kat added “With a recommendation like that we felt we had to train up and explore the idea of bringing the sport into Samoa. We now have an experienced Kite Instructor and a number of kites in various sizes and are advertising these services worldwide to try and bring more of this lucrative tourism market to Samoa.” The sport is still in its infancy, but is rapidly growing in popularity.

In 2006, the number of kitesurfers was estimated at around 150,000 to 200,000 worldwide. “If we can get just 1 percent of those to come to Samoa to Kite each year, we’ve made a good start and have a whole new market to pitch Samoa to,” Kat Roast said, “And once they start coming I think that numbers will only grow as Kiters are always looking for new locations and will travel the world to find new opportunities to take to the air over a major body of water. In Samoa, our consistent winds and sparkling lagoons are absolutely perfect,” she said. For more information please call (+685) 45662 or (+685) 7774744. (Source: Aqua Samoa Press Release)

South Pacific Action Strategy for Green Tourism

Participants at a one day Regional Workshop on Green Tourism were introduced to Key Action strategies on Tourism’s response to Climate Change in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, last week. The outcomes of the Action Strategy for Green Tourism were presented to tourism industry participants from around the region by Ross Hopkins and Dr Susanne Becken of TRIP Consultants. The workshop highlighted three key strategies for the region’s tourism sector to follow.

These strategies included Green Tourism Communication, Mitigation and Adaptation. Developing and Implementing a Communications Plan on Climate Change and the South Pacific Tourism Industry was identified as one of the key action points of the communication strategy. Mitigation initiatives to reduce GHG emissions which bring climate benefits in the longer term needed to be encouraged. Adaptation to manage Climate Change should be mainstreamed and implemented as an integral part of national and tourism development planning, environmental management and disaster management.

south-pacific.travel’s Chief Executive, Mr Tony Everitt in opening the workshop said “globally there is a growing consumer demand for environmentally based products and clean and green destinations. The South Pacific could be the ideal destination for this growing demand. Currently the Pacific is a low generator of carbon emissions but potentially the future impacts in the Pacific will be significant thus more efforts to reduce climate change must be encouraged. south-pacific.travel is taking a proactive approach to this issue with the recently adopted Green Tourism Action Plan which has been developed to facilitate mitigation, adaptation and communication on the issue of tourism and climate change.” The Action Strategy for Green Tourism and the Regional Workshop held last week in Tonga were funded by PROINVEST. (Source: south-pacific.travel news)

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