South Pacific Tourism Organisation
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (STPO) is an intergovernmental organisation for the tourism sector in the South Pacific. The STPO markets, promotes, and develops tourism in the South Pacific in overseas markets. The main office of the is located in Suva, Fiji.
Originally, the organization was funded by the European Union as a form of development aid. However, EU funding expired in 2004 and was not renewed. From that point onwards, the SPTO was forced to find other sources of income, which resulted in China becoming a member of the SPTO board.
Founding and membership
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation was created by the conclusion of a multilateral treaty known as the Constitution of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation. The treaty was concluded and signed in Apia on 18 October 1999 by the governments of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. All of the signatory governments have ratified the constitution, except American Samoa. The Marshall Islands and China have also ratified the treaty and have thereby become members of SPTO.
SPTO’s supreme governing body is the Council of Tourism Ministers that meets annually. The Council's primary functions include monitoring and reviewing SPTO’s policies, strategies, work programmes and budgets. It is also responsible for securing funding for SPTO’s activities.
A Board of Directors that meets about three times annually is responsible for the general administration of SPTO’s operational and financial policies. The Board has one representative from each of the member countries and six from the Tourism Industry Members (TIMs). The Board implements the policies approved by the Council of Ministers. A Chief Executive, appointed by the Board, carries out the day-to-day administrative functions of SPTO. He is supported by a staff of 12.
SPTO is funded by
- annual contributions from member countries,
- donor agency funding for specific projects and
- private sector member fees.
SPTO offers a range of services to its members which cover the following areas:
- Regional Statistics Analysis
- NTO Bi Annual Benchmarking Survey
- Quarterly Market Intelligence Summary
- Market Intelligence Reports
- Membership Weekly Newsletter
- Internet marketing and web development
- Overseas Representation
- Travel Show/Road Show Facilitation
- Regional Collateral Material including
- Regional Tourism Magazine
- Product Listing
- Members Forum
- Member Discounts
- Photo Library
- Banner Advertising
- Database Marketing
- Regional Tourism Conference
Policy, Planning and HRD Division
- Training Facilitation and Implementation
- Industry and stakeholder workshops
- Bi-annual Regional Tourism Conference
- Regional Tourism Policy and Planning
- Technical Assistance
- Project Management/Implementation Services
- Consultancy Database
- South Pacific Tourism Investment Guide
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