The Pacific islands changing the future of tourism

New push to attract visitors focuses on environment and culture, as experts call for better monitoring of sustainability pledges

Dec 14, 2023

The resort lies on the fringes of one of the world’s largest barrier reefs. Powered by solar energy, in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, there are no air conditioners or pools. Most food is grown in its gardens or fished from the sea, and all the employees are hired from local villages. This is Nukubati on the north coast of Fiji’s Vanua Levu island and at the forefront of a growing movement to change Pacific tourism.

Across the region, new tourism models are emerging. Vanuatu and Cook Islands are promoting “regenerative” tourism while French Polynesia pushes a “slow’’ tourism model. Bora Bora, an island within the French territory, has put limits on arrivals to preserve its way of life. Palau, an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean, asks visitors to sign a pledge to act in an ecologically responsible way.

In a five-part series, the Guardian examines the challenge facing Pacific island nations in balancing the economic dependence on tourism with its environmental impact – where this has led to devastation, where new models are working and how tourists can make a difference.

Get the full story at the Guardian

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