Sustainable Tourism


Tourism offers strong economic development potential in most European Pacific territories. However, it must be developed in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. In this area, INTEGRE has set 4 objectives :

  • Implement pilot projects that meet sustainable tourism criteria
  • Contribute to improving tourism as a vector for sustainable local development
  • Reduce the environmental impact on the natural environment of tourism-related visitor numbers
  • Raise awareness among stakeholders of the various components of sustainable tourism

More than a type of tourism, we must understand sustainable tourism as an approach, a working method, to be applied to all forms of tourism to make them more consistent with sustainable development. The World Tourism Organization, in its publication "Towards a more sustainable tourism, a guide for decision-makers", has formalized this approach in the form of 12 objectives.

  • 12 objectives for a more sustainable tourism

    • Economic viability: to ensure the viability and competitiveness of tourist destinations and businesses, so they can prosper and continue to produce profits in the long term ;
    • Local development: maximise the contribution of tourism to the prosperity of the host destination, thus also the proportion of tourist expenditure retained locally ;
    • Job quality: increase the number and quality of local jobs created or induced by tourism, including wages, working conditions and the fight against discrimination ;
    • Social equity: seeks a broad distribution of the economic and social benefits of tourism among the host population, including improved opportunities, employment and services for the poor ;
    • Tourist satisfaction: provide a rewarding, satisfying and safe experience for visitors without discrimination ;
    • Local control of development: involve and strengthen local populations in planning and decision-making on the management and future development of tourism in their region, in partnership with other stakeholders ;
    • Well-being of host communities: maintaining and strengthening the quality of life of local populations (social structures, access to resources, public services, nuisances, etc.) ;
    • Cultural wealth: respect and improve the historical heritage, culture, traditions and specificity of local communities ;
    • Physical integrity: maintain and improve the quality of landscapes, rural and urban, and avoid physical and visual degradation of the environment ;
    • Biological diversity: support the conservation of natural spaces, habitats and species, and minimize impacts ;
    • Resource efficiency: minimize the use of scarce and non-renewable resources in the development and management of tourism facilities and services ;
    • Environmental quality: minimize air, water and soil pollution, as well as waste production from businesses and visitors.

According to the definition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), "sustainable tourism development meets the current needs of tourists and host regions while protecting and improving prospects for the future. It is seen as leading to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be met while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and living systems.”


Download our fact sheet on INTEGRE's commitment to sustainable tourism : INTEGRE is committed to sustainable tourism (in French)



The thematic workshop organized in February 2015 in Papeete focused on "integrated management and sustainable tourism". After an introductory visit to Moorea, the sessions were then organized around groups, plenary sessions, round table...

Productive discussions were developed through concrete case studies which allowed a better appropriation of the subject by the participants. The workshop brought together about fifty participants (local actors integrated into the INTEGRE project, representatives of national or international institutions, actors from the world of expertise and research related to sustainable tourism development).


This workshop was held from February 23 to 27, 2014 in Papeete under the theme "integrated management and sustainable tourism".

In total, 59 people participated in this workshop :

  • Local actors from each of the four OCTs, and also from other countries in the area, sharing their experience (such as Hawaii or Fiji): GIE Tahiti tourism, GIE Bora-Bora activities,
  • National or international groups, in particular the South Pacific Tourism organisation (SPTO), the network of French CCIs, specialised EIGs in the countries concerned, UNESCO, Earth-Check Asia-Pacific...
  • Experts having worked on the subject and being able to share their analyses, or having supported experiences which they can share: Griffith University (Australia), University of New Caledonia, Archipelagoes (French Polynesia), National parks of France...

It enabled participants to exchange knowledge and know-how, provide expert solutions to stakeholders' questions and, ultimately, suggest guidelines for decision-makers. It has notably been used as part of the development of the sectoral policy financed by the 11th territorial EDF in the framework of the development of the sectoral policy financed by the 11th territorial EDF.

The concept of "sustainable tourism" is based on the three pillars of sustainable development: it is a tourism that contributes to the development of host populations and territories while contributing to the challenges of the 21st century: the fight against climate change, the protection of biodiversity and fragile environments and the fight against human rights violations.

Based on case studies drawn from the experience of each of INTEGRE's OCT actors, the following four central themes were addressed :

  • Developing tourism on an island from scratch by taking into account its specific environmental, social and economic features: how to enhance the country or region by ensuring harmonious development, positive benefits for the community and the sustainability of projects?
  • Managing cruise ship arrivals: how to take advantage of these massive inflows of foreign currency and preserve the quality of the sites?
  • Acknowledgement and enhancement of history and culture: how not only to preserve them, but also to make them a force?
  • Large-scale project design and management: how to welcome a large number of visitors while respecting the three pillars of sustainable development?

In addition, testimonies from the OCTs and other countries in the region and experts were able to share their analyses. Several discussion sessions were held in connection with the themes of professional membership and available tools (round table), coastal and marine issues, community involvement..

The results and lessons learned from this workshop are summarised in the report Sustainable Tourism and Integrated Management in the Pacific.

Spécification des étude de cas

Case studies specifications

Workshops presentations (in French) :

Atelier toursime durable

This activity aimed to support the sharing of experiences from pilot sites with other Pacific countries on sustainable tourism with the concepts of economic viability and local development. The objective was to contribute to the integration of the OCTs in the region through bilateral exchanges with "mirror" sites and to create informal networks. The aim was to develop synergies between territories, benefit from relevant feedback and create links between the OCTs and between the OCTs and the other countries and territories of the Pacific. Some of these exchanges focused on sustainable tourism through the notions of local development / economic viability / cultural wealth / biological diversity / efficiency in the use of resources / and environmental quality :

- New Caledonia - Galapagos: 3rd conference of managers of marine sites inscribed on the World Heritage List

The World Heritage Centre through the Marine Programme organizes every three years meetings between the 49 managers of marine sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. These conferences allow managers to share best practices and build relationships to continuously improve their management practices. The Caledonian World Heritage property is a serial property managed by four institutions (the three provinces and the Government of New Caledonia). The Conservatoire d'espaces naturels is the body that coordinates this management and plays the role of focal point, particularly in the responses to be provided to UNESCO.

New Caledonia-Galapagos (2016): 3rd Conference of Managers of Marine Sites inscribed on the World Heritage List (Galapagos Archipelago, 27 to 31 August 2016 (in French)

Echange nc galapagosF2

- New Caledonia - Australia: Return and exchange of experiences with the authority of the Great Australian Coral Reef Marine Park and the Torres Strait

The Great Barrier Reef Park shows many similarities with the UNESCO World Heritage property in New Caledonia, in terms of ecological issues, the management methods put in place or the economic and social context. This discussion confirmed the mutual interest of collaboration between the two sites, which is intended to continue beyond this exchange. Moreover, it has provided food for thought at the level of the three pilot sites in New Caledonia within the framework of the UNESCO management committees, which are the way to local legitimacy, particularly customary legitimacy on lagoon space and uses. It therefore contributed to the INTEGRE action plan for New Caledonia, which aimed in particular to boost the participatory management process and the mobilisation of local stakeholders at the three pilot sites, this mobilisation passing through recognition of local cultural specificities and the aspirations of the populations. This is a central issue for the effective implementation of integrated coastal zone management in New Caledonia but also in the Pacific as a whole. This exchange and the lessons learned were promoted to all partners of the INTEGRE project, notably during the mini regional workshop organised on 30 September and 1 October on ICZM plans.

New Caledonia-Australia (2015) Return and exchange of experiences with the authority of the Great Australian Coral Reef Marine Park and the Strait of Torres on the consideration of traditional uses of the marine space (in French)

John Tapim échange grande barrière corail AUS

- French Polynesia-New Caledonia  Exchange of experience and know-how in participatory monitoring of coral reef health status

The objective of this project was to organize a Pacific inter-country exchange to share experience and know-how in participatory monitoring of coral reef health status. Such monitoring has already been carried out in New Caledonia since 2011 and invites volunteers to participate in the Réseau d'Observation des Récifs Coralliens (RORC), whether in scuba diving (via the Pala Dalik association) or freediving (monitoring of reefs in the Deep South - through the ACROPORA project, coordinated by OEIL and CCCE; and monitoring of Ouvéa reefs) in order to encourage the involvement of local populations in environmental monitoring. All underwater observers are trained in the techniques and identification of target species. Within the framework of this project, the skills acquired by the RORC have been made available to fishermen and members of the Rau'i management committees of the Taiarapu peninsula in order to help them set up their own monitoring network.

French Polynesia-New Caledonia (2017) : Exchange of experience and know-how in participatory monitoring of the health status of coral reefs (in French)


- French Polynesia-Saipan: Innovation and tradition applied to the exploitation of lagoon resources

This mission was organized following the exchanges initiated in May 2016 between Thomas Camus and Mike Ogo on the aquaculture of the Rabbit Fish Siganus argenteus ("Marava"). The Department of Aquaculture at the University of the Northern Mariana Islands began a 4-year program on Marava aquaculture in 2015 with U.S. funding. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and technical assistance from the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii. Mike Ogo's visit to Tahiti aimed at a first zootechnical exchange on Marava aquaculture (broodstock, egg laying, larval breeding, nursery) and to initiate a collaboration with Saipan on Marava issues.

French Polynesia-Saipan (2017) : Innovation and tradition applied to the exploitation of lagoon resources (in French)

echange PF Indonésie aquaculture

- Wallis and Futuna-Samoa: Exchange of experiences on the manufacturing processes of virgin coconut oil

The mission to Samoa was suggested following the participation of the NGO Women In Business (WIBDI) in the conference on Sustainable Agriculture which was organized by the Direction des Services de l'Agriculture in Wallis in November 2014. This exchange aimed to facilitate the implementation of projects on the territory upon return, and raise awareness on the subject of regeneration and management of the coconut grove, essential to the industry. The objective was also to improve the production process of virgin coconut oil (VCO) used today in Futuna by the association Alofaina, following a training organized in Wallis in 2011 by the CPS.

Wallis and Futuna-Samoa (2016) : Exchange of experiences on virgin coconut oil production processes (in French)

Echange bilat WF Samoa coco

Toursime durable territoires

In the various territories, INTEGRE has supported projects linked to sustainable tourism through actions relating to the development of tourist sites, the development of sustainable tourism projects and the management of threatened tourist sites.

In New-Caledonia :

- Carrying out an economic, social and environmental diagnosis of tourism on Ile des Pins : 

The South Province wished to carry out a diagnosis of the tourism and cruise industry on Ile des Pins. This study was co-piloted by the Economic, Training and Employment Directorate (ETED) and the Environment Directorate (DENV). It received co-financing under the INTEGRE action plan for the Southern Province. The purpose of this study was to carry out an economic, social and environmental territorial diagnosis of the tourism and cruise industry in Ile des Pins. Indeed, the tourism of stay and cruise represents a major stake of the economic development of the island. However, there were not enough precise data to measure the weight, organisation and economic health of the tourism sector and the activities involved. This information is essential for communities, particularly the Southern Province, to adjust their policies to support economic development, land use planning and environmental protection. The study therefore consists of :

- Carry out a territorial diagnosis of the tourist sector and the activities induced according to 3 axes: economic (object of this report), environmental and social (these two axes are the object of additional reports)

- Carry out an analysis of this diagnosis

Ile des pins

- Development of the Kanuméra site to reduce the impacts of coral reef frequentation : 

On the request of the customary people of Ile des Pins, the South Province installed a coral protection perimeter to limit disturbances and encourage their regeneration in shallow areas. Indeed, the increasing influx of tourists is endangering these fragile organisms, particularly by trampling visitors. The coral reefs of New Caledonia and their associated ecosystems (sea grass beds and mangroves) are the site of exceptional ecological and biological processes and show a rare state of conservation on a global scale. The remarkable beauty, richness and vitality of the Caledonian lagoons justified their inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2008. On Ile des Pins, the elders knew how to protect this unique biodiversity and its resources, and transmitted to the younger generations a healthy environment of providential beauty. The reefs and meadows around the rock of Kanuméra are the very example. The development of a defensive zone makes it possible to preserve this heritage while allowing tourist activities to continue. The European Union through the INTEGRE project coordinated by the Pacific Community (SPC) funded this project.


- Development of two small islands in the South to limit the impact of visitor numbers on breeding bird populations : 

Within the framework of the preservation of emblematic species, the environment department wanted to set up facilities for the benefit of seabirds on the islets of Kouaré and Rédika.  The islets of Kouaré and Rédika belong to the World Heritage area and are of outstanding ecological value as protected seabird habitats, particularly during their breeding periods.  Thus 3 information panels have been placed on the islet of Kouaré in order to make boaters aware of the ornithological richness of the site.  On the islet of Redika, installation of a defens and 2 panels at the top of the beach at both ends of the defens with the aim of raising awareness among boaters of the ornithological richness of the site but also to ensure the physical protection of breeding birds on the north-eastern part of the islet.

Kouare redika

- Development of an ecotourism centre in the Muli district of Ouvéa (footpath and underwater) : 

Within the framework of the "Valorisation du patrimoine naturel et culturel d'Ouvéa au profit de ses habitants", the INTEGRE project has supported the structuring of an eco-tourism development centre in the Muli district with, in particular, the completion of several developments.

mouli ouvea

In French Polynesia :

- Development of new tourist sites in Raiatea and Taha'a :

The development of 2 sites supporting local development by offering the opportunity to generate economic activity for the benefit of local populations and to offer leisure and educational activities to the inhabitants of the sites. The enrichment of the tourist offer on the islands of Raiatea and Tahaa. The creation of 8 shared gardens in Uturoa including an educational plot to promote sustainable agriculture and eating well. The INTEGRE project has made it possible to diversify the tourist offer of the site by taking part in a form of small-scale tourism, a diversified offer (crafts, hiking, catering, local products, sport) for tourists but also for the inhabitants.

Raiatea amenagement

- Enhancement of the Opunohu archaeological zone :

The project has enriched the current tourist offer of the Opunohu site through the following achievements :

Within the archaeological zone and the estate : 

  • The reconstruction of 2 houses of dwellings
  • The reconstitution of a food-growing area
  • Cleaning up a cult site
  • The installation of 40 information panels on the traditional use of plants along 2 existing paths and a presentation panel on the area car park
  • A healthy course

opunohu archeologique

- Development of a project for a tourist reception structure with the population of Opunohu :

In parallel with the concrete developments, the project facilitated the development of a visitor reception structure project within the Opunohu domain. The development of this activity follows the concerted work carried out by the project team in 2015 and 2016 to support the establishment of governance conducive to the development of sustainable tourism. This work made it possible to identify the need for a better integration of the population of Papetoai in the dynamics generated by tourism in the Opunohu area and to have a concrete structure to be able to organize a tourist offer.

opunohu strusture accueil

- Establishment of a management committee for the Taha'a coral garden :

The INTEGRE project in its position of promoting Integrated Coastal Zone Management project aimed to set up projects and dynamics for land-sea, intersectoral and inclusive integration of all stakeholders such as the establishment of a sustainable management of the coral garden of "Tautau" as well as the creation of a management committee that brings together the stakeholders concerned, the municipality, service providers, hoteliers, landowners, inhabitants...

Tahaa jardincorail

In Pitcairn : 

Although the British government provides for the basic needs of Pitcairn's inhabitants, they aspire to be able to develop and consider a future where entrepreneurship could also generate income. The history of Pitcairn makes it a popular place for tourists who sometimes come from far away to discover the Bounty Revolt Islands. The INTEGRE project thus supported the inhabitants in the realization of 2 tourist products :

- Development of a botanical garden : 


- Development of a recycled glass blowing activity to make souvenirs : 



PF Moorea CopilPapeete FieldVisite CPS SophieLockner 2

INTEGRE aimed to strengthen the integration of OCTs into regional networks by offering them financial or technical opportunities to participate in the networks, either by facilitating their access to the networks or by organising specific sessions so that they could meet, exchange and share their experiences with their counterparts, or finally by financing bilingual studies on subjects of common interest to the OCTs or the ACP. However, the integration of the OCTs into regional networks cannot be decreed, it is built on the basis of meetings, interests, wills and even personalities who promote cooperation or seek to see how things work elsewhere. Thus, depending on the themes, the dynamics have been more or less strong.

Sustainable tourism is perhaps the theme where the OCTs are least keen to cooperate and share since each is geared towards different markets with different policies. Nevertheless, the suggestions and recommendations expressed in the framework of the study, co-financed with SPREP, constitute interesting avenues for sustainable and responsible tourism.

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