The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu Joe Natuman who is also Minister for Tourism participated in the 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on 11th to 19th of September in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
With 2017 declared as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development, Natuman outlined the progress Vanuatu is undertaking by developing a national sustainable tourism policy with assistance through the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan (VSTAP).
Vanuatu was further appointed as Vice Chairman to the Regional Committee for Asia & Pacific.
The General Assembly outlined the progress of 150 nations around the world in shaping their economies fostering the 17 sustainable development goals for a better tourism sector to improve the livelihood of countries.
Globally tourism and travel has shown a 4% growth in the last 7 years with over 300 million people travelling internationally for tourism between 2008 and 2016.
In 2016 international tourist arrivals around the world reached 1,235 million. China has become the world’s leading inbound market and is becoming an emerging market for most of the African, Caribbean and Pacific nations.
Digital tourism to create smart destinations featured the importance of digital tourism with good content development and consideration for online technologies and platforms to drive change in the tourism sector and something that Vanuatu has been embarking on as part of its marketing strategies.