PACER Plus Boosts Tuvalu's Tourism Development
23 Jun 2023
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu – The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) supported the development of Tuvalu's tourism sector through a capacity building initiative aimed at improving skills of accommodation service, food and beverage service staff, and the business owners active in the industry. Tuvalu's Department of Tourism with the support of the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) has delivered the Tuvalu Tourism Development Training which aims to enhance the quality of standards in professional housekeeping, culinary skills, and hospitality management, strengthening the tourism industry's contribution to the country's GDP and national development.
Tuvalu recognizes the importance of tourism in achieving its national vision of "A Peaceful, Resilient, and Prosperous Tuvalu". The initiative aligns with Tuvalu's National Development Strategy Te Kete 2021-2031 and the Tuvalu Sustainable Tourism Policy 2022-2032, both emphasizing the role of tourism in job creation, income generation, and skill development.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in Tuvalu had been steadily growing, with increasing visitor numbers and tourism receipts. In 2019, tourism earnings accounted for an estimated 5.6 per cent of the country's GDP, providing employment opportunities for the people of Tuvalu. With the launch of the PACER Plus Tuvalu Tourism Development Training, Tuvalu aims to further harness the potential of its tourism sector.
Mrs. Silaati Timo, Acting CEO of the Ministry of Transport, Energy, and Tourism, expressed her optimism about the training, stating: "Tourism has always been a significant contributor to our economy, providing employment opportunities and fostering growth across various sectors. With the support of PACER Plus, we can further enhance our tourism offerings, improve our service quality, and create a sustainable industry that benefits all Tuvaluans."
The program's emphasis on professional standards and skills training resonates with industry experts. Mr. Joe Lam, a culinary trainer and Samoan chef, expressed his support, saying: "The training will be instrumental in uplifting the skills of the local entrepreneurs and employees in the tourism and hospitality sector." Mr. Horace Evans, culinary trainer and Samoan chef, agreed: "By equipping them with the necessary knowledge and expertise, we can unlock their potential for innovation and entrepreneurship, ensuring a vibrant tourism industry."
Ms. Kate Payne, Professional Housekeeping Trainer, also shared her thoughts on the training, saying: "Quality and standards play a critical role in the success of any tourism sector. By investing in the training and upskilling of the tourism workforce, Tuvalu will be better equipped to meet international standards and exceed visitor expectations."
The PACER Plus Tuvalu Tourism Development Training aligns with the country's broader national policies and strategies, including the Tuvalu National Trade Development Strategy 2022-2026, which identifies tourism as a priority growth sector. By integrating tourism into national supply chains and strengthening hospitality training domestically, Tuvalu aims to expand its market reach and promote investment in the tourism sector.
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