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Tourism Ministers From 17 Pacific Island Countries Will Meet In Port Vila

Tourism Ministers from 17 Pacific Island countries will gather in Port Vila next week (Friday October 27th) to attend the annual Council of Tourism Ministers meeting and to discuss a number of key aspects of tourism development in the region.

Port Vila, Vanuatu, from the War Memorial, 1 June 2006 - Flickr - PhillipC

The Ministers meeting on Friday will see the culmination of a week of other high level SPTO meetings in Vanuatu, all targeted at improving tourism development in the region and contributing to sustainable tourism. The Council of Ministers meeting now in its 27th year, is organized annually by SPTO, the region’s peak tourism development and marketing body, in partnership with each host country.

Items on the agenda include China Pacific Tourism Year (CPTY) 2019 and the China Pacific Tourism Development as well as regional projects funded by donors such as Asian Development Bank (ADB).  The Ministers will also be briefed in presentations from the Green Climate Fund, New Zealand Maori Tourism, Trip Advisor and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

In the lead up to the Council of Ministers Meeting, SPTO will also facilitate a meeting of all Marketing Managers and Executives of SPTO countries to discuss SPTO’s regional marketing programme on Tuesday October 24th.

The meeting will review SPTO’s marketing activities in 2017 and look forward to the marketing strategies and activities in place for 2018.  The SPTO regional marketing plan 2018 will be tabled for endorsement prior to its submission to the SPTO Board meeting for final approval.

Other highlights of the marketing meeting include an update from Trip Advisor on the first ever consumer facing digital marketing campaign undertaken in 2017 and the plans to expand this into 2018.

“It is expected to be a busy week for us in Vanuatu as we also have the first ever Pacific Tourism Insights Conference, which is very exciting for us as a region,” SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker said.

“We are expecting that meeting to contribute to new insights and approaches to help improve the way we do tourism business in the region and to take us to the next level,” he added.

SPTO is collaborating with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) with the support of Air Vanuatu to host PTIC at the Vanuatu Convention Center in Port Vila on Wednesday October 25th.

ATR 42 at Port Vila - Vanuatu

The conference brings together a dynamic and unique line up of international thought leaders in innovative and disruptive thinking with key topics to be analyzed and discussed including; connecting with the new traveler, the difference between consumer and customer, crisis and recovery and ingredients for success and sustainability.

“PTIC provides the perfect opportunity for travel and tourism industry stakeholders in the Pacific to gain deeper insights into how to prepare for the future and the inevitable technological changes and developments that will affect lives,” Mr Cocker said.

“Key discussions expected to specifically be of interest to the Pacific are technological innovation and the importance of tourism data.  In terms of innovation, the internet continues to revolutionize tourism marketing and product distribution globally. The Pacific region has in many aspects failed to keep pace with the level of technological change and the implications that this change has for tourism business and National Tourism Offices,’ he added

“Tourism data is important given the fact that travel is a fast paced industry which drives the need for speedy data analytics and quick decision making.”

One hundred and fifty participants are anticipated to attend the conference from Vanuatu and internationally and the registration is still open for those still interested.

The conference discussions are aimed to contribute towards achieving the objectives of the Pacific Tourism Strategy 2015-2019 which provides the strategic framework to support the development of tourism in the Pacific.   The conference itself is expected to provide a unique convergence for networking, learning and growing.

On Thursday October, 26th, the SPTO Board will also meet in Vanuatu to endorse SPTO’s 2018 work plan and discuss a number of other SPTO activities including the South Pacific Tourism Exchange 2018 and 2019.

About SPTO

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.

[Source:  South Pacific Tourism Organisation -/- Media Relations]
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