By Regina Scheyvens and Apisalome Movono, Massey University in Palmerston North*
Analysis – the pandemic brought tourism to a standstill. Now, over two years how is the industry in the Pacific dealing with the return of travellers?
Pacific Island people were resilient when tourism halted. Now that it’s reopening, the world could learn from what they want.
“We are lucky Covid-19 happened,” a female elder in Fiji told researchers from Massey University.
“It has been good to spend time and teach my children and grandchildren … share skills of weaving, cooking outdoors and gathering food.”
Pacific islanders were hit hard economically when the pandemic closed down borders, putting a halt on global tourism. But there were silver linings for the community.
“We would say to each other…isn’t it nice? Not having tourists around? We have the whole beach to ourselves,” a Cook Island elder said.
To date, 16 Pacific destinations have re-opened their borders with much fanfare and enthusiasm from government officials and resort managers alike. Tourists have been assured of a warm welcome from their hosts.
READ FULL ARTICLE : Reimagining Pacific tourism by thinking locally | RNZ News