Fiji is a significant tourism destination and, in turn, tourism contributes much to the nation’s economic structure and growth. At the same time, Fiji’s national policies and plans recognises that continued growth in this sector needs to be balanced with the broader social and environmental context in which tourism activity takes place. To this end, tourism is recognised as a core part of national development planning and a key sector in its forthcoming national development plan and the Green Growth Framework for Fiji.
In recent years, Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS) has also taken clear steps to improve its national statistical system. An important aspect of this improvement process, given the significance of tourism, has been the compilation of Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) and has commenced work on environmental statistics and accounts using the framework of the UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). These two areas of work provide a platform to investigate the development of a more rigorous information base to assess the sustainability of tourism in Fiji.
To this end, UN World Tourism Organisation and ESCAP Pacific Office supported the interest of FBoS by providing technical assistance to support the FBOS led effort to assess the relevance and feasibility of an internationally compliant statistical framework for measuring sustainable tourism.
Overall, the assessment finds a strong case that the development of a statistical framework for the measurement of sustainable tourism is relevant for Fiji, and that the compilation of data within such a statistical framework is feasible.