Pacific leaders are challenging all of us not to waste a crisis, and to use Covid as an opportunity to re-think tourism in the Pacific.
How have communities responded to the sudden halt in tourism? What lessons have been learnt, and what will Pacific tourism look like when the borders open?
Going back to the pre-Covid era of low wages, insecure contracts, and little local ownership is not an option for Pacific communities.
Regina Scheyvens is Professor of Development Studies at Massey University, where she combines international development with research on tourism, community empowerment and sustainable development, particularly in the South Pacific.
Dr Api Movono is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University where he focuses on Pacific development that is fair, resilient, and sustainable. His work sets out to create a more accurate understanding of Pacific Island peoples and to look within to find solutions and long-term strategies for the challenges Pacific Islanders face.
Both Api and Regina have been extensively researching the impacts of the pandemic on tourism-dependent communities in the Pacific. They have just published Mana of the Pacific, a book of Pacific proverbs.
Eliza Raymond is the co-founder of GOOD Travel, an award-winning social enterprise running GOOD trips globally since 2013. She is also the co-founder of the GOOD Travel Foundation. Both set out to transform the tourism industry into a force for GOOD. Eliza also serves as senior advisor to RISE Travel Institute, teaches social entrepreneurship at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace, and is currently doing her PhD in tourism management.