New alliance to make Fiji a model for low carbon tourism

03-11-2009, Suva, Fiji

Fiji’s national tourist office and key players in the destination’s tourism, hotel and business sectors are joining resources with Australian-based clean technology specialist Greenlight Technology Group (GLTG) in a project funded by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

The first phase of the initiative, already under way, is forming the alliance of the key players in the Fiji tourism industry and local clean technology businesses to consider and agree ways to develop small-scale renewable energy sources in the hotel sector, and on ways to use energy more efficiently there.

The next step will be for the alliance to work together to prepare an advisory paper on how best to bundle a range of individual hotel initiatives into a larger Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, which will allow the sale of the Certified Emission Reductions that the project generates.  “The proposed Fijian Hotel CDM Program will be a world first for the tourism sector, “says Chris Andrew, CEO of GLTG.

Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto, who is part the newly formed alliance, said the CDM project is intended not only to benefit the people of Fiji, but also to provide a model for low carbon tourism to Fiji’s immediate neighbours.  “We intend showing the world that even as a small nation, we can set the pace when it comes to critical international action in an area that is affecting each and everyone one of us today,” he said.

The May 2009 World Economic Forum report Towards a Low Carbon Travel & Tourism Sector  notes that “tourism destinations that pro-actively work on sustainability initiatives will be better positioned than their competitors to survive” in an era when European and US tourists are growing more environmentally conscious in choosing their holiday destinations.

“We are happy to see the tourism industry in a country like Fiji take this important first step in collaboration,” said Marianne Osterkorn, Director General of REEEP, “and this approach to clean energy development could be an inspiration for other countries where tourism playsan important role."

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