Tonga Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop 2018

Policy setting for improved linkages between agriculture, trade and tourism:
Strengthening the local Agrifood sector and promoting healthy food in Agritourism

Workshop organised by the Government of Tonga
In collaboration with CTA, and the Pacific Community, PIPSO and SPTO
Nukualofa, 7th & 8th August 2018, Tonga

 

Background

Promoting linkages between agriculture and tourism-related markets for improved food and nutrition security

Tourism is the lifeblood of many Pacific economies and agritourism provides a promising avenue for diversification and trade growth. High quality, nutritious and healthy food, available every day of the year, is critical to hotels, lodges and resorts. Often the food purchasing bill of a tourism site is large in comparison to the size of the local economy, yet surprisingly little of this is spent locally, even when supplies are available from farmers, fishermen and small-scale agribusinesses. The challenges of shifting food-sourcing to local suppliers are considerable – achieving this in a way that meets commercial needs and customer preferences and meets food and safety requirements would be one way in which tourism operations can significantly increase their contribution to local economic development.

Tourism has the potential to stimulate demand in the agriculture sector, promote healthy and nutritious food and strengthen the use of local products, so it is important to create linkages between the two, and to develop a policy on agritourism. In addition to the strong economic value of developing a sustainable tourism sector, enhancing the linkages between tourism and agriculture represents an important potential mechanism to stimulate and strengthen traditional local producers and processors and to improve the distribution of benefits along the chain as well as generate investment incentives for local production. The trade policy environment should be more favourable to the private sector and investment, while supporting local entrepreneurs and SMEs through appropriate measures that address import substitution, notably in the form of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Linkages between agriculture, health and tourism not only potentially increase opportunities for domestic agriculture earnings, new markets and product development and therefore sustainable economic growth, but also offer opportunities to help develop visitor attractions and distinctive tourism destination brands through the creative use and marketing of local produce and production techniques, and use of local landscapes. In order to acquire these benefits, the tourism industry needs to be proactive in utilizing local, high quality, healthy and niche agricultural products in touristic sites and events.

Goal: To promote sustainable use of local food by the tourism industry through a new coordinated Tonga Agritourism Plan or Strategy to strengthened intersectoral policies.

Objectives:

  • To promote linkages between the agrifood sector and the tourism industry to increase sustainable local sourcing through a new developed agritourism plan or policy for Tonga
  • To identify key institutional and supply chain gaps and issues that should be advocated through this new Plan and stakeholders that would drive the changes
  • To formulated an initial work plan and a working group that will take forward concrete actions drawn from the consultations.
  • To identify concrete projects that can be supported under the intra ACP EU funding.
  • To contribute to the Pacific regional agritourism strategy.

Background Note & Programme ( coming soon)

Participants

Government officials from Agriculture, Trade and Tourism Ministries, private sector, farmers, agro producers, chefs and actors from the hospitality sector, civil society and academia. International and regional partners will also share their experience.

Partners

The policy process is led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Tourism of Tonga in close collaboration with the other ministries. Regional and international partners include SPC, CTA PIPSO and SPTO.

Expected results

  • A better common understanding of the opportunities in agritourism in Tonga
  • A platform promoting linkages between Agriculture and Tourism is established
  • Priority areas for development and support under the intra ACP funding are identified
  • A Tonga Agritourism Policy and the framework to implement the policy are designed
  • The main elements of the Strategy/policy on agritourism are developed and validated by the multi-sectoral focus group.
  • An initial work plan and a working group that will take forward concrete actions drawn from the consultations.

Resources

  • The Tonga Agriculture Policy Bank [link]
  • Tonga Tourism Sector Roadmap 2014-2019, Final Report [pdf]
  • Tongan Heritage Tourism Scoping Study,Final Report – Volume I, May, 2012 c [pdf]
  • Tonga gets small slice of tourism growth in Pacific region [link]
PROGRAMME
Tuesday 7th August 2018

8h30-9h00 Registration

9h00-9h15 Opening Address

9h15-11h Session 1: Setting the scene: what do we know about opportunities to
support linkages between agriculture, health and tourism

11h00-11h15 Coffee Break

11h15-13h00 Tonga Context: Opportunities for Agritourism Development

This session will look at the Tonga context. It aims at reaching a better common understanding of the opportunities in agritourism in Tonga. It will assess the situation in the key areas important to set up an agritourism policy.

13h00-14h00 Lunch

14h00 -16h Session 2: Identification of priority Areas for Development for Agribusiness and Agritourism

14h00 – 16h00 Identification of Priority Areas for development and support for Agribusiness and Agritourism Development

This session will discuss key areas in agribusiness and agritourism that are priority for development support and present specific examples of what can work and already identified in the Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan and Tourism Sector Road Map. Furthermore to identify how development support can be better tailored in the local context.

16h00-17h30 Working groups in each of the 3 areas to identify key elements of the strategy/policy on agritourism and proposed actions. Identify 3 or 4 key areas for priority development and support

Wednesday 8th August 2018

9h00-13h15 Session 3: Promoting Agritourism through Value Addition, Value Chains and Safety standards

9h15-11h00 Building Sustainable Value Chain for Agritourism – What needs to be done?
Kylie Stice, PIFON

11h00-11h15 Coffee Break

11h15 – 13h15 Chefs for Development: the link between agriculture & cuisine
This session will look at the role of chefs and the hospitality sector in stimulating demand of local products and its use by chefs. It will share experiences from other regions.

13h15-14h15 Lunch Break

14h30-16h00 Identification agritourism Policy Consideration and Priority Developments
Group Presentations

Conclusion—Moderator provides concluding remarks focusing on agreed future actions