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It is important for Pacific Island countries to prioritise tourism as a key economic and social activity.
These were the words of Samoan Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi while welcoming Ministers of Tourism and representatives from around the Pacific to attend the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Board Meeting held today.
He also urged the participants to realize the opportunities available through Tourism for the Pacific Region.
“Our region owns some of the most exotic and pristine tourist destinations that visitors can only dream to enjoy. There are opportunities to increase market awareness and access and we look forward to addressing these topics in our deliberations,” he said.
Tuilaepa thanked the efforts of the regional tourism leaders from the public and private sectors who are here to discuss and establish a regional tourism strategy.
“The work of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation and the commitment of the European Union and Community to assist our region through the EDF10 is commendable, and we trust that our efforts to promote tourism will ensure that the region will also benefit from EDF11, as well as from the assistance of other potential development partners, as referenced in the 8th Millennium Development Goal of the United Nations,” he said.
The SPTO Board meets twice yearly to discuss the SPTO programmes and activities and how they are progressing.
Tomorrow the SPTO Council of Ministers will meet at the same venue to mark the end of the program.
The Samoa Tourism Authority is working with SPTO in hosting and coordinating the meeting.
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