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10 August 2012

Regional News

Papua New Guinea: Expanding tourism
With visitor arrival numbers and tourism spend both up in recent years, Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) tourism sector is showing solid signs of consistent growth. A renewed focus on niche markets, particularly adventure and ecotourism, has seen international recognition of the burgeoning sector. According to Peter Vincent, CEO of the Tourism Promotion Authority, the difficult terrain is considered central to PNG’s market positioning. “We would like to classify PNG as an adventure destination more than a mass tourism destination, such as Fiji and other Pacific Island countries,” he told OBG. “In the near future, we would like to develop into one of the world’s leading adventure destinations, which offers niche segments for diving, trekking, surfing and bird watching.” Read more. (Source: Oxford Business News Economic Update 06 August 2012)


Australians visiting Cook Islands in increasing numbers
Australians are visiting the Cooks in increasing numbers with a 10 percent increase in numbers in May this year compared to last. The statistics office recorded 1173 Australians flying into Rarotonga in May compared to 1069 recorded last year. Cook Islanders living in Australia visited home in greater numbers, with 128 flying back compared to 79 the previous May. Increasing numbers of Cook Islanders are basing themselves in Australia, drawn by opportunities in mining towns in particular. Comparing January to May 2012 with those dates the previous year, there has been a 20 percent increase in tourist numbers from Australia, four percent more from New Zealand, eight percent more from Asia and two percent more from Canada. For the financial year, former Cook Islands Tourism CEO Ms. Carmel Beattie says tourism has surpassed their target of 115,923 to reach 116,323 visitors – a 7 percent rise from last year and 16 percent in two years. Read more. (Source: Cook Islands News 26 July 2012)


National Day for Tonga at the Yeosu 2012 Expo A Success
Tonga’s celebration of its Expo 2012 Yeosu National Day at the international Exhibition Expo drew attention of the Expo crowd on Monday August 6. To celebrate this important event, Tonga’s Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Labour Dr. the Hon. Viliami Uasike Latu and Head of delegation alongside Korea’s Commissioner of Yeosu Expo 2012 Mr. Lee Joon Yee started with the national flag of Tonga being hoisted and national anthem being played at the Expo Hall.  The flag raising served to recognize the close ties between the two countries. Read more. (Source: Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour 06 August 2012) The VIP delegation from Tonga together with the Commissioner General of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, Mr. Lee Jun-Hee. (L-R Kololiana Naufahu [Tourism rep], Losilini Loto'ahea [Fisheries rep],Tatafu Moeaki [CEO of MCTL and Commissioner of Section for Tonga], Hon. Dr. Viliami Uasike Latu [Minister for MCTL], Mr. Lee Jun-Hee [Commissioner General], Julie Kwon [Deputy Director of Asia & South Pacific Division], Saia Moehau [Tourism rep], Tricia Emberson [Fisheries rep]


Fiji Tourism Goes for Record Growth: PS Powell
The World Tourism and Travel Council predicts Fiji will exceed approximately $2.48 billion receipts from tourism this year compared to $2.24bn last year. Permanent Secretary for Fiji’s Tourism, Elizabeth Powell, said this figure was estimated to grow to almost $4bn over the next 10 years. The figures take into account direct, indirect and induced receipts. She further indicated that the council predicted tourism to contribute 38.5 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP) this year when compared with 35.5 per cent last years. The figure is predicted to go up to 47 per cent by 2022. With all these high predictions for our booming tourism industry, Ms Powell said infrastructure development was something necessary for the industry. Read more. (Source: Fiji Sun 07 August 2012) The Permanent Secretary for Tourism, Elizabeth Powell talks to the managing director of One Hundred Sands during the Fiji Business Forum


Team Samoa at the Olympics
Samoa Tourism Authority UK proudly hosted a few members of the wonderful Team Samoa during London 2012 at STA's travel trade event for UK tour operators. Team Samoa were joined by Singer & GAFA Creative Director Sani Muliaumaseali'i who performed on the evening at the South Pacific village, St Katharine Docks, London to celebrate the Olympics 2012! For the entire duration of the London 2012 Olympics visitors can explore the Pacific Village at the prestigious St Katharine Docks to find out more information on Samoa and enter a prize draw to win a holiday of a lifetime to our Treasured Islands of the South Pacific! (Source: Samoa Tourism Authority) Picture:-L-R:- Team Samoa's Chef de Mission, Seb Kohlhase; Olympian athlete Maureen Tuimaliifano; Team Samoa's Dengue Taosoga, GafaSamoa's artistic director Sani Muliaumaseali'i and Team Samoa's Olympic attache Zaman Toleafoa.


A proud moment for all Cook Islanders around the world
Team Cook Islands were announced as one of the top five best dressed teams for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The distinctive Turtles casual gear worn by the team for travel and around the village certainly attracted attention. The team acknowledges the support of Cook Islands Tourism for their support in making the Cook Islands stand out on the global stage. It was a proud moment for Sports Minister Mark Brown who cheered the team from the stands surrounded by Sports Ministers from other countries who each cheered their teams as the entered the Olympic Stadium. Read more. (Source: Cook Islands News & Facebook  30 July 2012) Team Cook Islands athletes Patricia Taea, Luisa Peters, Helema Williams, Ella Nicholas and Celeste Brown before marching in front of the world at the opening of the London Olympics.


Calling All Aussie And Kiwi Travel Agents!
Fancy winning a Carnival Spirit famil cruise? Australian agents now have the opportunity to see, do, taste and try everything Carnival Spirit has to offer, with a competition to win one of 15 eight-day 'getting to know Carnival Spirit' cruises on her inaugural voyage from Sydney. The Trade Brigade will be helping to train 1,200 local agents on Carnival Cruise Lines' key selling points, travelling around the country. Read more. (Source: Carnival Cruise Lines 08 August 2012) news

SPTO EDF10 - Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Program (PRTCBP) Vacancies
SPTO invite applications for the following Marketing Officer vacancy: Closing date is Monday 20th August 2012. Email applications your CV and cover letter to or contact: Laisa +679 3303137.
The European Union is funding the Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Program (PRTCBP) as a key component under the overall Strengthening Pacific Economic Integration through Trade (SPEITT).  The aim of the PRTCBP is to improve PACP economic integration through strengthened national systems and institutional frameworks to develop trade capacity, increase private sector competitiveness and increase international market access in the tourism sector. Click here for more information on the above mentioned vacancy.

Why Become a South Pacific Specialist?
Since its inception, the South Pacific Specialist Programme has helped educate our global travel agent partners on the unique South Pacific island destinations. With the underlying aim of adding value to the program, the SPTO is encouraging travel agents to enroll into the program and to take advantage of the many ways in which we can help you grow your business . For more information, please contact Marketing Manager, Petero Manufolau -


Upcoming Travel Shows, Famils and Events 
In collaboration with our NTO partners, the SPTO is pleased to confirm its participation at the following upcoming International Travels Shows/ Expos:

1.          South Pacific Olympics Promotion – London (27 July – 11 August 2012)
2.          Sunsational Canadian Roadshow (10 - 14 September 2012)
3.          World Travel Market - London (06 - 09 November 2012)
4.          China International Travel Mart – Shanghai (15 - 18 November 2012)

Regional Australia - Treasures of the South Pacific Agents Seminars:
1.         Gladstone and Rockhampton   -           14 August 2012
2.         Rockhampton and Mackay       -           15 August 2012
3.         Gold Coast                               -           24 October 2012
4.         Ballina                                      -           25 October 2012


Niche Market promotion
The SPTO is currently liaising with its partners in Australia and New Zealand for an agents/ media famil to the Solomon Islands, Nauru and Kiribati (Christmas Island)  This has been tentatively scheduled for November 2012 and is the beginning of similar niche focused activities that will be carried out in the future.

SPTO members interested in participating in any of these upcoming shows may contact Petero Manufolau on


Industry News

Seminar on tourism in Suva
The High Commission of India will be conducting a seminar on the subject “Enhancing India Bound Tourism” from 10:30am to 12:30pm on August 21 at Level six, LICI Building, Butt Street Suva. The seminar would cover all aspects of tourism like holidays/ education/ culture/business and medical tourism. Director, Government of India Tourism Office, Sydney Madhu Dubey will be conducting a presentation at the seminar. Stakeholders in the field of tourism such as travel agents/tour operators/airlines/medical institutions/insurance companies/media etc who wish to participate, are requested to register with High Commission of India, Suva by August 14. Click here. (Source: Indian High Commission Suva & Fiji Sun 08 August 2012)

Air Pacific Partners with Mamanuca Environment Society
National Carrier Adds to Environment NGO to Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. Air Pacific and the Mamanuca Environment Society (“MES”) have announced a new partnership aimed at funding the environmental organisation’s core activities and community programs that will preserve the pristine natural beauty of the Mamanucas and surrounding islands. Read more. (Source: Air Pacific Media Centre 03 August 2012)

Employee of the month for Jan-Feb 2012
The Edgewater Resort & Spa’s Martha Rabale from our Food & Beverage Department, as well as our Spaghetti House, is our Employee of the Month for January/February for delivering consistent, outstanding customer service. Martha never loses her smile and guests find her a pleasure to be around. (Source: Edgewater Resort & Spa)


Swift leads Air Pacific commercial operations
Air Pacific has announced the appointment of Aubrey Swift as chief commercial officer. Mr Swift is an experienced airline executive with over 20 years in the industry in commercial roles at British Airways, Virgin Blue and V Australia. He has worked across low cost and full service airline business models, selling direct and through all segments of the travel trade. Recently he has been consulting for airlines and airports, working on a variety of network planning strategy projects Aubrey Swift will be responsible for marketing, planning, revenue management, freight, global sales and all other commercial activities of the airline. Read more. (Source: Air Pacific 06 August 2012)

Samoan Surf and Turf as Fitness Fanatics take to the Scotsman’s Trail
Join New Zealand triathlon athlete Steve Gurney for a work out in paradise! Fresh on the heels of the inaugural Samoa Swim Series event is the Scotsman’s Trail – an 11 km run and swim challenge to be held in Upolu, Samoa on September 6, 2012. The event is named after Samoa’s most famous Scotsman, celebrated poet and author Robert Louis Stevenson. Read more. (Source: Samoa Tourism Authority 10 August 2012)

Couple travel from Hong Kong to wed at Warwick
Averaging four weddings a week, the Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa continues to be a favorite for weddings. The Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa plays host to a range of weddings whose sizes range anywhere from two to 250 guests at maximum. Couples come from all corners of the globe and this includes countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and even Hong Kong. Recently married at the Warwick was a couple all the way from Hong Kong; Kam Lu Tin who’s a sales personnel and flight attendant with Cathay Pacific Airways and Naomi Lai On Yu. Read more. (Source: Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa & Fiji Sun 08 August 2012)

The Pearl Quarterly Ambrose
Greetings from The Pearl!  The Pearl plans to host Quarterly Ambrose beginning in the month of August.
Below are the scheduled dates.
• 19th August 2012
• 18th November 2012
• February 2013
• May 2013
We invite you to form a team of four and register to our first Ambrose for 2012 on a stroke play event. Available are attractive giveaway prizes including Accommodation and many more. Please note that the first 11 teams to register and pay 50% deposit will be confirmed for the Ambrose. Please find more information on this event and registration form here  to reserve your spot.  Let us know if you need further information. Contact: 7730022 / 7070022 or email:

Te Maeva Nui 2012 celebrations in Cook Islands
In true Cook Islands style, the nation’s 47th year of the Te Maeva Nui Constitution self governance was celebrated island style with singing and dancing by the people of the Cook Islands last week. The weeklong cultural extravaganza event included nightly cultural entertainments and performances, daily trade day markets where local people displayed and sold their foods, arts and  crafts and along with dancing and drum beating competitions. Entertainments by visiting international communities and Cook Islanders living overseas and those living on Rarotonga were highlights of the celebrations. This years celebrations were a high attracting a high number of visitors to the country. Congratulations to all the teams and communities that made each performance and show a huge success and showcasing that the Cook Islands culture and language is very much alive and thriving.


Other News

Rugby Superstar Jonah Lomu Launches Fiji's Coral Coast 7's 2012
The world’s first global rugby superstar, Jonah Lomu, has confirmed his attendance at Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens in November. Speaking at the launch of the tournament at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa, the former All Black said there was nothing to compare with rugby sevens in Fiji. “The Fijians epitome having fun and enjoying the game, which I played because I loved, and playing the Fijians were the big test for me,” said Lomu. The tournament, on 15-17 November at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka, is sponsored by major resorts on Fiji's Coral Coast including the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji Hideaway Resort & Spa, Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa, The Naviti Resort, and as well as Air Pacific and Sigatoka River Safari. For more information, please contact SPTO Marketing Manager, Petero Manufolau on Read more.


The Tuamotu Atolls – Tahiti’s Strand of Pearls
Made of dozens of atolls and only a few islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago offers visitors a unique voyage within a world set between the ocean, the land, and an immense sky. Discover the origins and unique characteristics of these breathtaking rings of coral. There are 400 atolls in the world; most of them are located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In French Polynesia alone there are 83 atolls, 78 of which are spread along the longest string of islands (1,800 km) in the country - The Tuamotu Atolls. These islands scattered over the ocean make the Tuamotu Archipelago a must see in the Islands of Tahiti. Read more. (Source: Tahiti Tourisme)

Construction on One Hundred Sands to begin this month
One Hundred Sands, the company tasked with building Fiji's first casino, has managed to raise $400million [US$225 million] for the first phase of the construction of the casino complex. One Hundred Sands board chairman Larry Claunch told the Fiji Business Forum that while there had been doubts about construction and funding for the project, all was going as planned. "Its been incredibly exciting designing this, there's an international flare that will go into the casino and it will definitely meet and exceed the five star standard. "Our goal is the design itself will win international awards which is also part of our advertising internationally for new tourists to come to Fiji." Mr Claunch said the casino would create 500 jobs during construction and 600 to 850 jobs once the casino and resort were in operation. Read more. (Source: Pacific Islands Report & Fiji Times 08 August 2012)

Pacific investment opportunities promoted to the world
The Pacific continues to provide an ocean of opportunities for international investors. Launching the 2012 edition of “Investment Opportunities in the Pacific Islands” this week, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, remarked that investment opportunities found in the Pacific remain as diverse as the region itself. The publication is the second edition of its kind developed by Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I), an arm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat with presence in Auckland, Beijing, Geneva, Sydney and Tokyo.  Read more. (Source: Pacific Island Forum Secretariat Press Statement 08 August 2012)


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Pacific Pulse is produced and distributed by the as a complimentary service to its members and friends of the South Pacific. Pacific Pulse provides timely information on tourism happenings within the South Pacific region, its key markets and internationally.