RNZ reports economic, environmental and socio-cultural sustainability are the three areas which define a sustainable tourist operation.
The concept being to adopt a long term approach to financial gain and trying to limit negative environmental impacts and preserve local culture and traditions for future generations.
The manager of SPTO's newly created sustainable tourism development division, Christina Leala Gale, said often Pacific countries focused heavily on only one or two of the three areas.
She said collecting data on the different types of tourism developments that exist in the region will help identify the gaps.
"We could start at raising awareness, to build the awareness of our Pacific countries as well as the private sector and the whole tourism industry on what sustainable tourism development is and the benefits to them and what we need to do to improve the level of sustainability in the tourism sector."