'The Pacific Tourism Organisation acknowledges the importance of research and statistics as a key strategic priority in its Strategic Plan 2020-2024. It aims to ensure relevant tourism data and information are collected and disseminated to support sustainable tourism development efforts and programs in the region. In hindsight, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided individual countries and the Pacific region with an opportunity to reset, rethink and rebuild tourism back to be more resilient and sustainable. A range of tourism research initiatives have been and continue to be undertaken in the Pacific region. Recognising the invaluable contribution of such research and knowledge to the recovery planning efforts of Pacific Island Countries during these unprecedented times, bringing together the research community, Pacific Island Countries, partner organisations, private sector and development partners is fundamental in moving forward.
In light of this, the Pacific Islands Tourism Research Symposium, is proposed to bring together all partners to discuss the state of play, challenges and opportunities and define the way forward for improving regional coordination in tourism research. Participating in this symposium will also be the starting point for establishing a regional framework that will ensure tourism research is responsive to the needs of Pacific tourism stakeholders, practical and provides insight into the challenges faced by the tourism sector.'