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Pacific Tourism and Agriculture Policy Toolkit

Policy measures to promote linkages and drive inclusive growth in Pacific Island Countries










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    Linking agriculture and tourism to strengthen agrifood systems in Asia and the Pacific 2023
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    Agrifood systems in Asia and the Pacific can be strengthened by tapping on agrifood-tourism linkages. When tourism and agrifood systems interact, both synergies and competition appear. Agriculture and tourism compete between themselves and other sectors for land, water, labour, capital, and transport and logistics services. Cross-sectoral synergies arise when agriculture and tourism influence each other through their respective demand conditions and changes in the enabling environment. These cross-sectoral synergies can be instrumental in strengthening agrifood systems in the region and addressing interlinked crises in the post-pandemic era. Governments across Asia and the Pacific have acknowledged the potential of tapping into agrifood- tourism linkages to advance sustainable development in both urban (food tourism) and rural areas (mostly agricultural tourism), and are implementing efforts to develop this subsector. Agrifood-tourism linkages can create income-generating opportunities for farmers and tourism operators, boost employment and stimulate overall economic growth, promote the development of sustainable agrifood systems, prevent rural youth outmigration and help preserve culinary and agricultural heritage. This publication guides policymakers in the region in the preparation of a strategic plan aimed at developing agrifood tourism and the tourism food value chain as drivers of sustainable development. The successful positioning of a country or location as a culinary or agricultural tourism destination and the creation of synergies between the agriculture and tourism sectors requires a shared vision and coordination between policymakers, destination managers, tourism and agrifood businesses, chefs, farmers and other key stakeholders.
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    Understanding and Quantifying Mountain Tourism 2023
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    All around the world, mountain tourism is driven by the human desire to experience nature in unique settings. In turn, tourism has proved to be a lifeline for many communities in mountain regions, and it can play a leading role in sustaining systems that contribute to protect these fragile ecosystems from overexploitation and support their adaptation to climate change. When the pandemic led to lockdowns, mountains became an attractive option for travellers looking for less crowded destinations and open-air experiences. Now, as international travel returns, we have an opportunity to rethink mountain tourism, its impact on natural resources and livelihoods, and how to manage it better. In this regard, measuring the volume of visitors to mountains is the first vital step we must take. With the right data, we can better control the dispersal of visitor flows, support adequate planning, improve knowledge on visitor patterns, build sustainable products in line with consumer needs, and create suitable policies which will foster sustainable development and make sure tourism activities benefit local communities. This study, jointly developed by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), addresses the current lack of relevant data and so improves our understanding of mountain tourism. The study also identifies trends and provides a set of recommendations to advance the measurement of mountain tourism, including the enhancement of official tourism statistics through the use of big data and new technologies. The United Nations proclaimed 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development to increase awareness of its importance and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That same year also marked the 20th anniversary from the first International Year ever devoted to mountains as well as the 20th anniversary of the Mountain Partnership. UNWTO and the Mountain Partnership have been long collaborating to advance the contribution the tourism sector can make to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs. This study is a follow-up to the 2021 joint UNWTO/FAO publication Mountain Tourism – Towards a More Sustainable Path. It will enhance our understanding of tourism in mountains and the need to improve not only how we measure its volume, but also its full economic, social and environmental impacts, to ensure a more sustainable, resilient, accessible and inclusive development of mountain tourism that leaves no one behind.
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    Mountain tourism – Towards a more sustainable path 2021
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    With their soaring peaks, remote locations, and majestic beauty, mountains have long been a powerful attraction for visitors from all walks of life, who are drawn by the often colorful traditions of local communities, the opportunities for sporting activities, and the spiritual solace to be found in highland landscapes. This study highlights the important role that tourism can play in valuing the natural and spiritual heritage of mountains, and the cultural diversity and traditional practices of mountain peoples. Particularly when linked to nature and rural tourism, mountain tourism can make a valuable contribution to promoting sustainable food systems and adding value to local products. Developing sustainable tourism in mountains requires reducing its negative environmental and social impacts and addressing the challenges posed by climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought about major changes in the mountain tourism sector and substantial losses for communities and businesses. However, consumer appetites for destinations that are outdoors and less crowded have increased in the wake of the pandemic, and these changes usher in new opportunities for mountain destinations to rebuild a greener and more sustainable form of tourism and rethink their products and services. For this to happen, the following measures will be critical: innovation and development of year-round tourism experiences; investments in infrastructure, particularly for the digitalization of mountain tourism services; strengthening multi-level-governance, partnerships and active community participation; and ensuring regular assessments of the impact of tourism on mountains, the effective management of waste and resources, and clearer practices for defining and managing the carrying capacity of highland destinations.

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