In December 2021, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) concluded a project supporting Fiji’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism & Transport (MCTTT) to develop the National Sustainable Tourism Framework. Tourism is one of the most important drivers of growth for Pacific Island Countries, playing a particularly crucial role in the Fijian economy. Fiji is among the world’s 20 most tourism-dependent nations, with tourism contributing nearly 40 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the largest earner of foreign exchange.
Accounting for approximately FJD 3 billion in earnings in 2019, travel and tourism supports nearly one-third of the Fijian labour force and is one of the most important sources of income for Fijians. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, annual visitor arrivals grew consistently for nearly ten years.
To ensure the sustained growth of the sector, the Fijian Government, through the MCTTT is developing the National Sustainable Tourism Framework (NSTF) to articulate the strategic direction of the tourism sector, and will provide the blueprint for Fijians to develop and benefit from the country’s tourism resources.
The framework will be based on thorough research, evidence and broad stakeholder consultation and feedback from tourism and tourism-related industries, government, civil society, communities and the development community. The framework will lay out clear policy direction, development and investment strategies, and an action plan for the first 3 years of strategy implementation. A key aspect of the Framework is involving industry stakeholders in the process to ensure the resulting strategies and plans effectively leverage the Fijian tourism industry’s potential.
GGGI supported the NSTF development process by conducting a review and collecting best practices and lessons learned from existing sustainable tourism cases from SIDS and coastal nations’ national tourism strategies and policies on green and sustainable tourism development to identify specific policy and strategy interventions that Fiji can consider.
From this study, GGGI developed Green Principles for the Framework that also identified existing or potential financial mechanisms and investment opportunities to support a green COVID-19 recovery in the tourism sector. In collaboration with Fiji’s Department of Tourism, GGGI developed 4 project idea notes for investment in the tourism sector covering e-mobility, mangrove conservation, argi-waste and Fiji’s Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy.