| 21 July 2022

PSDI tourism team gives back-to-back presentations at regional border reopening series

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Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) tourism experts have led back-to-back Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTOwebinars on resuming tourism in the post-COVID-19 era. 

PSDI Tourism Expert Sara Currie and Tourism Consultant Jennifer Bartlett on 14 July 2022 addressed the SPTO and Pacific stakeholders on PSDI’s new Reopening Borders to Tourism in Pacific Island Countries: Key Lessons and Guidance report, which features key lessons from countries that have reopened, or are advanced in their planning to permit international arrivals after the removal of COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

The report provides a comprehensive tourism reopening framework for Pacific island countries (PICs), including critical policy guidance as international tourists return post-COVID-19.

We felt it was really important to bring together some of the findings, research, all the work that’s gone into reopening borders, to create lessons and guidance to support countries yet to reopen,” Dr Currie said. 

Ms Bartlett discussed the four priorities outlined in the tourism reopening framework: (i) public-private coordination in reopening planning; implementation; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning; (ii) border reopening policies and agreements; (iii) health and safety measures for COVID-19-safe tourism; and (iv) stakeholder communications.

PSDI Consultant Jennifer Bartlett presents the key takeaways from the Reopening Borders to Tourism in Pacific Island Countries: Key Lessons and Guidance report.

Dr Currie and PSDI Tourism Consultants Penny Spoelder and Natasha Paul on 21 July 2022 then addressed the SPTO on post-COVID-19 tourism sector crisis management and resilience planning. 

The webinar identified potential tools to support crisis and resilience planning in the Pacific tourism sector.

Ms Paul said resilient tourism industries are capable of absorbing stress, recovering critical functions quickly, and thriving amid disruptions such as COVID-19. 

She said that while previous crisis management approaches were designed for “one-off” crisis events, COVID-19 was cumulative, cascading, and unpredictable. 

Resilience needs to be reframed as a regional and national priority,” Ms Paul said. “We need to not view resilience as countering foreseeable risks, but working towards the prosperity and community wellbeing of Pacific island nations, and on reforms that build structural and systemic resilience. 

“(Resilience planning) is actually a spiraling approach with successive waves—the need to transition from the immediate impact when disaster strikes, a transition phase, a recovery phase, and then another wave appears and we need to go through that cycle again. 

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PSDI Consultant Natasha Paul discusses post-COVID-19 tourism sector crisis management and resilience planning.

PSDI is an ADB technical assistance program undertaken in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. PSDI supports ADB's 14 Pacific DMCs to improve the enabling environment for business and to achieve inclusive, private sector-led economic growth. 

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.