Selling the Pacific to the world under one roof

SPTE 2014 a ‘success,’ says organisers

Pacific’s national tourism offices have given thumbs up to efforts by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) to organise a regional tourism buyer and seller market. The inaugural South Pacific Tourism Exchange was successfully held for two days at the upmarket Pullman Hotel in downtown Auckland on 22 and 23 May. “A regional approach to selling the South Pacific always works,” says Dwayne Bentley, Manager Marketing & Promotions with Samoa Tourism Authority.

“Having sellers and buyers all under one roof makes it easier and convenient for everyone.” Similar sentiments were echoed by Linda Kalpoi, general manager of the Vanuatu Tourism Office. “For us in the islands, it is vital that we get buyers especially those from our long haul markets to be at one place. It will be very difficult to have them visit us at our individual islands so this concept of a seller and buyer’s market is ideal.”

Vanuatu tourism was heavily represented at the SPTE 2014 with a total of seven hotel, resort and tour operators in attendance. Kalpoi’s VTO was also a sponsor. Largest participation from the Pacific’s sellers was Tahiti however, with a total participation of nine industry partners comprising resorts, yacht charter and tour operators with the leadership of Tahiti Tourisme. Notable absentee was Tourism Fiji although the country’s industry key players in resort and tour operators were in attendance.

Fiji Airways together with Air New Zealand were major sponsors of the twoday event. For buyers, a total of 50 participated representing 15 countries from around the world. These included wholesalers from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom and the US.

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