“The path to leadership is through service.” - Christina Leala Gale
Christina Leala Gale — Perspective from the Pacific: A Local Looks at the Connection Between Climate Change and Tourism. This is a very special and unique conversation with Christina Leala-Gale who is a Samoan native and is now based in Fiji. Christina is the Manager for Sustainable Tourism Development with the South Pacific Tourism Organization. She works at the regional level focusing on the inclusion of the global sustainable tourism agenda as well as SPTO’s member countries. Christina is passionate about advocating for sustainable development and hopes the Pacific can become the green tourism destination of the future. Christina and I met through the Adventure Travel Trade Association and she continues to open my eyes to the abundant culture within and apart from the tourism industry in the Pacific. In our conversation she highlights a key part of that culture: Pacific Islanders are centered around community and shared prosperity. She gives us a glimpse into how locals feel about tourism, why sustainable tourism is the key to preserving host villages and countries, and the tangible effects of climate change in those countries that are closest to the equator. We also discuss plastics’ impact on climate change, the tourism industry's contribution to plastic waste and conservation, the double-edged sword of cruises, and much more.