Jul 20, 2017 Last Updated 2:11 PM, Jun 12, 2017

Samoa targets arrivals

Tourism growth inspires island ambitions

SAMOA will aim to continue improvements in its local tourism market after a recent visit by travel industry representatives from around the globe. The Samoa Tourism Exchange attracted international interest, coming ahead of similar events in Fiji, Australia and the regional SPTE 2018in Sydney.

Tourism Samoa’s Dwayne Bentley said every effort was being made to increase arrival numbers. “Kiwi visitor numbers for 2016 were up eight per cent from 2015 to around 66,000, securing their place as our biggest market,’’ Bentley said. ‘’Australians were just under half that at 31,000, with American Samoa sitting third with about 15,000.’’ Samoa recorded 145,000 tourists in 2016 – a growth of 4.4 per cent over 2015.

“It’s a positive result that can be attributed to awareness of the destination and the effort everyone is putting in to get people here,” Bentley said. Samoa has put in major tourism infrastructure improvements in an effort to maintain strong visitor growth, including the construction of a new arrivals terminal at Faleolo International Airport.

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Solomons stays unique

Islands Business talks to Freda Unusi, Solomons Islands Tourism Bureau’s marketing manager about the isand nation’s aspirations and tourism strategies IB: So the Solomons has the cleanest air in the world!

UNUSI: We just heard yesterday. We’re first and New Zealand is second according to the WHO.

IB: What does that mean for the Solomon islands as a desination?

UNUSI: Wow! That’s a catch phrase for us – If you want to relax and have clean, healthy air, come to the Solomons.

IB: How do you keep it that way?

UNUSI: I know! Well, for a start the logging industry is big in the Solomons so perhaps what we have to do now that they have announced that (but it’s slowly depleting. So we have no option but to revert to what we have in our lifetsyle and everything else...

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2million and counting

Relationships key to Pacific tourism

WITH Pacific tourism arrivals hitting two million last year, the future of the industry will hinge on business relationships forged between the region’s sellers and international buyers. Over the four-year period 2012-2016, tourist numbers grew 2.9 per cent and are expected to climb further after three very successful South Pacific Tourism Exchanges in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Melbourne.

Those events motivated international travel buyers to send clients to Pacific destinations. Chris Cocker, CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, believes that relationship-building is the cornerstone of a successful marketing campaign to promote the region. “The relationships built at the SPTE are crucial to developing the Pacific as a credible, safe, secure market throughout the world,” Cocker said at the end of the most recent exchange in Sydney last month.

“At the SPTE the buyers have the opportunity to see what is on offer in the regions and there’s a huge variety available in our countries “Actually it’s more than just sun, sea and sand. It’s also about people and understanding the market.” 

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Eyes on the prize

Pacific tourism heads to Europe

WITH less than two months before the South Pacific Tourism Event in Sydney, Australia, a major campaign is underway to draw attention to the region. Over March and April a series of events planned throughout Europe will seek to draw attention to Pacific destinations. Headed by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, the events will target major European cities – Barcelona, Manchester, Milan, Prague and Zurich.

Meet The Pacific – the name given to the event – will be a series of day-long business to business meetings allowing Pacific tourism suppliers to meet key European buyers and travel agents. “It’s a great way for South Pacific tourism bodies and operators to meet industry buyers in Europe for a short time and maximise their resources with maximum impact for their particular destinations, products and services,” said SPTO Marketing Manager, Alisi Lutu.

Last month the SPTO took part in a consumer tourism fair, Visit Pacific, in Malmo, Sweden. The campaign is an aggressive approach into the European market in an effort to grow the region’s traditional visitor base of Australia and New Zealand. Airlines, hotels, tour companies and cruise operators – 33 in all – from Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti and Vanuatu participated in the event.

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COOK Islands Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Henry Puna has officially launched a new brand and identity to promote South Pacific tourism globally after it was approved at the 26th Council of Tourism Ministers Meeting in Rarotonga. Organised by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the region’s peak tourism development and marketing body, the council meeting was attended by tourism ministers and government representatives from 13 Pacific island countries and China.

The new brand draws heavily on Pacific Islands’ cultural elements, in particular weaving. Individual letters in South Pacific Islands and SPTO have been taken apart, then strung back together like the strands in a woven mat. A simple corporate monogram for SPTO with a natural colour palette of beiges and browns drawn from traditional craft will be used for high-level communications.

On the other hand, all consumer facing communications will draw from a vibrant palette that’s inspired by the vivid colours found in Pacific arts and culture as well as the region’s lush natural environment. A new consumer-facing slogan “Ours is yours” accompanies the new brand. It evokes the welcoming nature of Pacific peoples and the Pacific spirit of sharing, in particular the unique cultures and pristine natural environments that our island countries share with visitors from around the world.

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