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Level 3, FNPF Place, 343-359 Victoria Parade, P.O. Box 13119, Suva, Fiji Islands
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October 16, 1998

The 9th Council of Ministers of Tourism Meeting ended in Suva today with the release of a communiqué. The meeting discussed matters relating to the future of tourism and development priorities in the South Pacific region.

High on the agenda was the subject of change and organizational restructure of the Tourism Council of the South Pacific (TCSP). It was acknowledged that the organizational restructure is essential in light of:

The meeting was attended by Ministers of Tourism and their representatives from TCSP member countries that included: American Samoa; Fiji; Cook Islands; Kiribati; Niue; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Tahiti; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu


Friday 16th October, 1998 Central Suva Hotel, Suva, Fiji Islands

The Ninth Council of Ministers of Tourism meeting was held today in Suva, Fiji, to discuss matters important to the future of tourism in the region, new funding arrangements and, in particular, the future institutional framework of the Tourism Council of the South Pacific (TCSP).

The Ministers reaffirmed the critical importance of tourism of the developing economies of the South Pacific Islands and acknowledged that the growth potential of the sector has yet to be fully realized.

The Ministers expressed their gratitude to the European Union for their continued assistance to tourism development in the region by agreeing in principle to provide funding support for an 18 month extension to the current regional tourism program until the year 2000. The Ministers expressed the hope that the supplementary funding decision by the European Union on this will be in place soon.

The Ministers discussed the following issues:

In keeping with a decision taken at the Eighth Council of Ministers of Tourism Meeting in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, an Organizational Review was undertaken. The Review recommended structural changes to TCSP that would address its future relevance and sustainability.

Key elements of the restructure included the following:

The Ministers agreed that:

The 1998/2000 Annual Work Program was tabled detailing project profiles and anticipated outputs. Key projects included:

The Ministers noted the inclusion of new donor agencies for TCSP.

The Ministers endorsed the 1998/2000 Annual Work Program and Budget.

The Ministers approved the proposals prepared by the TCSP for consideration for the 8th EDF Funding.

In recognition of the fact that the South Pacific environment is an unique selling point for tourism, the Board strongly felt that funding support to tourism environmental projects should also be made available from the 8th European Development Fund.

The Council asked management to consider ways in which funding could be sourced for the non-ACP/OCT member countries.

The Ministers noted the views and findings of the study which was undertaken based on a decision taken in the 8th Council of Ministers meeting in Bora Bora, and endorsed that:

The Ministers noted the views and findings of the study which was undertaken as part of TCSP's policy to work closely with the private sector and to validate the EU funding requests. A sample representing over 400 private establishments from all TCSP members countries was included in this study.

The Ministers endorsed the report and its findings and noted that these were incorporated into the TCSP Annual Work Program.

The Ministers thanked the Management Board and Secretariat for their efforts and contribution in the running of TCSP. They agreed that the venue of the 10th Council of Ministers meeting will be Apia, Samoa in October, 1999.

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