Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) Meeting

Private sector perspective on youth entrepreneurship in the tourism sector – what are the opportunities, challenges & solutions

The Background
Youth employment has been recognized as the major issue facing young men and women in the Pacific by the Pacific Island Forum Leaders in 2011. As a response to the 2011 Forum Leaders communique, the draft Pacific Youth Development Framework (PYDF 2014-23) has identified the need for more young people to be involved in entrepreneurship development/opportunities. The Asian Development Bank's latest Pacific Economic Monitor says a number of Pacific countries are enjoying record tourist arrivals (ADB March, 2013). The members of the Pacific Island Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) have identified youth employment as one of their priority areas. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is currently developing the Pacific Youth Employment Strategy (PacificYES) including implementing programs in some of its member countries. The South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) through its Small & Micro Enterprise (SME) Development programme has recognized the real link between SME development and youth entrepreneurship in the pacific. The Pacific Youth Council (PYC) as representatives of 10 national youth councils in the pacific, has a role of encouraging relevant and sustainable policies and programmes that are developed and implemented for youths by various key stakeholders, including the private sector.

The Speakers

The opening speech will be delivered by the Chief Executive Officer of SPTO, Mr Ilisoni Vuidreketi (4 minutes). The closing speech will be delivered by a board member of the PYC, Mr Manasa Vatanitawake. A mixture of speakers from industry leaders/operators, regional and international agencies, private sector representatives and a young entrepreneur will be given a maximum of 6 minutes to speak on the theme. A Q&A session will be held after all speakers have presented.

(a) Mr Dixion Seeto is the President of Fiji Tourism and Hotelier’s Association. He will be speaking on the opportunities and challenges of promoting youth entrepreneurship in the tourism sector, in a relatively large pacific country, like Fiji.
(b) Mr Tekeeua Tarati is the President of the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI). He will be speaking on the opportunities and challenges of promoting youth entrepreneurship in the tourism sector, in small island states, like Kiribati.
(c) Mr Thomas Bayer is the first vice president of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI). He will be speaking on the opportunities, challenges and solutions of promoting youth entrepreneurship in the tourism sector in Vanuatu where the majority of tourists are from cruise ships.
(d) Ms Kim Beddoes is a young entrepreneur and owner of Fiji Weddings and Party & Event Hire. She will share her experience as a young business operator, including the challenges she faced and possible solutions to promote youth entrepreneurships in the tourism sector.
(e) Ms Mereia Carling is the Youth Advisor for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). SPC is taking the lead in developing the PYDF 2014-23 and she will speak on the importance of the link between the tourism sector and the PYDF.
(f) Mr David Lamotte is the Director of the ILO Office for the Pacific Island Countries. He will be speaking on the importance of focusing on sectoral approach to promote youth entrepreneurship, including sectors that have the potential to create wealth such as tourism.

Short videos on youth entrepreneurship/youth employment will be played as interludes between each speaker.

The Moderator
The moderator will be Mr Edward Bernard – the ILO Programme Officer responsible for youth employment and is the secretariat of the UN Working Group on Youth (UNWGY).

The Audience
The event is organized at the back of the Annual General Meeting AGM) of the PIPSO. Therefore, the target audience will be the 14 pacific island country private sector representatives at the meeting. The secondary audience will be through invitation, the international and regional development organizations, training institutions, academics, relevant government ministries, private/tourism sector operators and current/aspiring young entrepreneurs.

The Objectives
It is envisaged that this event will:

• Highlight and discuss specific opportunities, challenges and solutions to promoting youth entrepreneurship in the tourism sector in the pacific island countries, including the potential role of the private sector;
• Establish a forum where industry /leaders, private sector representatives , development partners and youths, including aspiring and established youth entrepreneurs from the Pacific to engage share information
• Document key opportunities, challenges and solutions from the forum and feed that into current and future youth employment programmes, including the development of the PYDF 2014-23 and the PacificYES.

The Media
Media agencies in Fiji and the Pacific will be invited to cover this event. This will be done though a joint media alert prior to the event. The media will be invited to participate during the Q&A session and during the refreshments for individual interviews.

The Promotion
A controlled promotion strategy will be used to target and invite interested participant to the panel discussion and public lecture. These include:

(a) e-poster invitations sent to targeted audience (tourism operators, development agencies, government ministries and young/aspiring entrepreneurs)
(b) social media

The Contact
The contact persons for this event will be:

Ms Erica Lee Mr Edward Bernard
Research & Communications Officer
(679) 7736304

Programme Officer
(679) 3313866/9447632