Tourism Opportunities and Challenges for Small Pacific Island Countries Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu


The World Bank Group (WBG) initiated research and investigation called Pacific Possible (PP) and commissioned Scott Wayne and Dain Simpson to help with the process. The WBG quantified what could be achieved if economic opportunities open to Pacific Island Countries was fully exploited. The research examined what increases in income and living standards could be achieved if decision makers got certain key policies right and if countries around the Pacific played their part.

The study aimed to inform the tourism development debate in the Small Pacific Island Countries (SPICs) by providing solid analysis of technical feasibility and economic impact of development opportunities. It thus helped to identify which opportunities were the most promising and can be expected to have the highest impact in fostering shared prosperity in the Pacific.

The key questions addressed were:

  1. Which tourism-related opportunities are the most promising and can be expected to have the highest impact in fostering shared prosperity in the Pacific?
  1. If these opportunities were fully realized, how much additional per capita GDP and government revenue could be generated, how big would the efficiency gains or savings be, and what would be the impact on individual livelihoods?

The principal objectives were:

  1. Analyze current demand for the tourism offers in target SPICs.
  2. Assess the current and potential extensions of existing tourism supply
  3. Estimate potential future demand in target SPICs.
  4. Extrapolate from potential demand, the positive impacts on economic growth in target SPICs.

It is proposed that the preparation of the paper will comprise three Phases:

Phase I – Assess current demand, supply and value of tourism to the selected SPICs.

Phase II – Assess the potential opportunities for growth in the tourism sector with the highest potential to enhance living standards and project the increased valued of tourism which could be expected over a period to 2040 based on two separate scenarios:

  1. Growing from the existing base.
  2. Developing a new tourism paradigm

Eleven countries were covered:

  1. Palau
  2. FSM
  3. Marshall Is
  4. Kiribati
  5. PNG
  6. Solomon Is
  7. Vanuatu
  8. Fiji
  9. Tonga
  10. Samoa
  11. Tuvalu