The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced today that Kiribati has become a destination member. ICTP is a grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth.
Kiribati is an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, located in the central Pacific Ocean, about 4,000 km (about 2,500 miles) southwest of Hawaii. It is part of the division of the Pacific islands that is known as Micronesia. Kiribati consists of 33 coral islands divided among 3 island groups: the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands, and the Line Islands.
All of the islands are atolls (ring-shaped islands with central lagoons) except for the island of Banaba in the Gilbert Islands, which is a raised limestone island. Of the 33 islands of Kiribati, 21 are inhabited. Most of the population is concentrated in the Gilbert Islands, and only one of the islands in Phoenix Group (Kanton Island) is inhabited, and three of the Line Islands are permanently inhabited. The capital of Kiribati is Tarawa, an atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Bairiki, an islet of Tarawa, serves as an administrative center.
The majority of the atolls is barely more than six meters above sea level and surrounded by barrier reefs creating picturesque lagoons for fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and other water sports. Professional scuba diving guides are available on Christmas Island, Fanning Island, and Tarawa.
Kiribati Tourism President Eria Bubutei said: “Kiribati’s Tourism Office is responsible for working with our partners to encourage travelers to come to Kiribati and spend time exploring our country. Our country is made for travelers who have a passion for discovering and who like an adventure off the tourist trail to places where few have been before - people who want to understand a country, not just see it. We would like to see our industry as vibrant as the blues, greens, and whites that reflect the beauty of our country.”
The Chairman of ICTP, Juergen T. Steinmetz, said: “We appreciate that although Kiribati is a small country, it is big in its global awareness of the importance of sustainability. Kiribati’s tourism is guided by the principles of sustainability, economic development, and cultural preservation and expression.”
Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of ICTP, added: “Kiribati is one of the many Small Island States that is most at threat by extreme climate change, and it has worked ceaselessly to advocate that constructive solutions must be put in place now for the most vulnerable. ICTP is happy to support this call, which fits so precisely into our green growth vision.”