Published on : Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) says that Pacific Women are the unsung heroes of the region’s tourism industry, recognizing their contribution towards tourism development marking International Womens’ Day on March 8. At every level of the tourism industry, Pacific women are represented from grassroots handcraft producers, hotel and resort employees to tourism industry executives.
To quote SPTO Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocker, “Pacific Women are the backbone of our tourism industry. Without the hospitable service that starts from their homes and which they take to the frontlines of the tourism industry, tourists would not have the enriching experiences that guarantee their return to our shores. At SPTO, the management team and 70% of our staff are women. This speaks to the important role that women are playing in the development of our region’s tourism industry.” Mr. Cocker added that the current chair of the SPTO board, Papali’i Sonja Hunter is also a woman.
He said, “Pacific women bring an important cultural dimension to activities such as weaving and handicraft that helps make our tourism experience an enriching one for visitors to our shores.” The UNWTO says that in major areas of the world, women make up the majority of the tourism workforce, but are not that handsomely paid. The SPTO is doing its part by urging member countries to work proactively towards more inclusive, gender equal tourism industries.