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In an effort to increase the number of Chinese visitors into the region, South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation; Samoa Tourism Authority; Vanuatu Tourism Office; and Rosie Holidays, welcomed the first official trade familiarization delegation eight Chinese managers and representatives from key tour operators in China that visited Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa last week.
The programme enabled these influential figures to familiarize and experience each destinations' main selling points; what they have to offer the Chinese traveler in terms of product and services; and air accessibility to these island destinations. It also allowed for the deliberation of potential tour packages with local inbound operators and accommodation providers.
SPTO CEO Ilisoni Vuidreketi said SPTO recognizes that China is the fastest growing international tourism source market and that Chinese travelers are the largest spenders in international tourism globally.
“The recognition by Leaders at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in July, that the Asian region presents abundant opportunities for South Pacific tourism, has called for aggressive marketing and increased collaborative efforts,” he said.
He further adds, “China is becoming the number one tourism source market in the world with 83 million international outbound Chinese travelers recorded in 2012 spending US$102 billion on international tourism.”
The familiarization programme received a lot of positive feedbacks including supportive roles by host Governments.
Dina Nicholas, Team Leader of International Finance Corporation's Pacific Regional Tourism Program said the participants were grateful for the opportunity to meet and dine with Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu, Cheng Shuping and discuss market priorities and likelihood of increasing arrivals.
“The dinner, hosted by the Vanuatu Government evidenced the government support for the program and all were thankful for the opportunity to further discuss strategies to promote tourism,” she said.
Samoa Tourism Authority CEO Papalii Matatamalii Sonja Hunter said Samoa, which is an Approved Destination for Chinese, acknowledges with appreciation the assistance of the IFC as a key partner in this initiative and as well as the SPTO and private sector members which hosted the group.
She encouraged the private sector to capitalize on the leads presented and mentioned that this is part and parcel of STA's ongoing efforts to enhance trade awareness in China
As SPTO's partners in China, IFC and Pacific Island Trade Invest Beijing will meet with famil organizers to select Chinese tour operators for partnership in the next stages of marketing and promotion launches of tour packages for participating countries.
SPTO CEO further said, SPTO will continue to seek new and effective ways of strengthening the South Pacific’s position in China come 2014.
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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