Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) appoints new chairperson and deputy chairperson 

(L-R) Newly appointed SPTO Board Chairperson, Adela Issachar Aru and Deputy Chairperson, Viliami Takau. (PHOTO: Prerna Priyanka)

The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Adela Issachar Aru as its new Board Chairperson.

The SPTO Board of Directors endorsed the announcement of Aru as the new Chairperson at its May board meeting today at the Sofitel Resort & Spa.  

Two nominees, the board directors from Vanuatu and Tonga, were vying for the SPTO Chairperson position. The SPTO Board secretariat organised a virtual election by secret ballot. 

In announcing the Chairperson’s appointment, SPTO CEO Christopher Cocker acknowledged the importance of the role, adding that the time was right for a woman to lead the SPTO Board and the organisation. 

The SPTO Executive team and the Board have been strengthened and stabilised over the last 12 months. 

“We are delighted to have Aru take up the role of Chairperson and Viliami Takau, CEO from Tonga Tourism Ministry as the Deputy Chairman. They both bring experience and leadership and support SPTO’s current projects. SPTO is currently in the process of its digital transformation project for tourism recovery in the Pacific, funded by the New Zealand government.  

Aru is the Chief Executive Officer of the Vanuatu Tourism Office and is the incoming chair of the NZMFAT Steering Sub Committee. 

“I am delighted and excited to take on the role of Chairperson for SPTO. This appointment will bring the opportunity to rebuild tourism in the Pacific through partnerships, and I look forward to working closely with SPTO’s key partners and stakeholders. During my term as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, I will work closely with the CEO and his team to ensure that we continue to foster collaborations and partnerships to achieve the objectives stated in the organisation’s Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, Pacific Tourism Statistics Strategy (PTSS), and the  Digital Marketing Strategy. I will continue to advocate for the objectives of growing the SPTO and its relationship with its partners in fostering sustainable tourism development initiatives for the rest of the region. Thank you very much,” Aru, Chairperson of the Board.