The Pacific region reached a total of two million visitor arrivals in 2016 and has experienced an average growth of 2.9% in the four year period from 2012 to 2016, which can be attributed to increased business relationships forged at past SPTEs in aiding motivation to travel to the Pacific Islands.
South Pacific Tourism Organisation Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker, made this announcement to tourism stakeholders at the opening of the South Pacific Tourism Exchange, 2017 in Sydney, Australia this morning, highlighting the importance of the event in attracting visitor arrivals to the Pacific.
Mr. Cocker encouraged the partners and stakeholders to maximize on the opportunity provided by SPTE 2017 to further business aspirations in the South Pacific.
“Our buyers are here because they see business opportunities in our South Pacific islands and because our destinations boast of unique tourism products that only our region can offer,” Mr. Cocker said.
“Our sellers are here because they know that our destinations, their tourism products have the potential to attract growing visitor numbers that will translate into earnings that will contribute to improved livelihoods for families and communities,” he added.
Mr. Cocker highlighted the importance of the focus on ensuring the tourism industry remains sustainable for the future in line with the global focus on 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for development.
“We all have a vested interest in Pacific tourism and we all want our industry to be here today and here to stay.”
Participants at the event were treated to a special visual tour of the uniqueness of the Solomon Islands by the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, who proudly shared that they had just been voted the country with the cleanest air in the world by the World Health Organisation.
A total of 111 sellers from 17 member countries of SPTO are present at the event to brief 79 buyers from as far away as Europe, United States of America, Canada, China, South Korea and Australia and New Zealand on the tourism products of the South Pacific.
SPTE is the largest regional tourism event for the Pacific region and is the umbrella that brings us together, because of our passion for the Pacific Islands and towards tourism as the catalyst towards positive sustainable development.
Visitors to the two-day event have been immersed in a range of Pacific experiences including dances and presentations by the Heilani Dance group from Brisbane who perform a fusion of Pacific dances, that highlight the uniqueness of the Pacific way.
Held annually SPTE provides an opportunity for Pacific tourism and travel operators to showcase their products to international buyers who are the face of the Pacific to travelers curious about the Pacific as a destination.
Support for the event has come from major sponsor Bank South Pacific who has partnered with SPTO since 2016. Other Pacific partners supporting the event are the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Nauru Airlines, Papua New Guinea Tourism and Promotions Authority (PNGTPA) and Fiji Airways.
Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 18 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the People’s Republic of China. In addition to government members, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation enlists a private sector membership base.
For more information, contact:
Alisi Lutu, Marketing Manager
South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
Email: email@example.com or +679 3304177