Pacific Tourism Leaders Strengthen Regional Collaboration

Aug 6, 2023 | Blog, News

Last month, the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) hosted a successful meeting with representatives from the Vanuatu Tourism Organisation (VTO) and Fiji Airways, resulting in promising outcomes for the region’s tourism industry.

SPTO CEO Chris Cocker met with VTO CEO Adela Issachar Aru, along with Martin David, responsible for Long Haul, Emerging, and Domestic markets, Megan Thompson, the Short Haul Market Coordinator, and Jennifer Kausei, the Digital & Communication Manager, as well as Fiji Airways’ Executive Manager of Global Sales, Marketing & Digital, Akuila Batiweti.

The discussions centred on VTO’s keen interest in collaborating with Fiji Airways to enhance their long-haul markets, seeking to boost tourism in the Pacific. Both parties recognised the importance of air connectivity in expanding tourism opportunities and facilitating easier access to the Pacific region for international travellers. They explored the possibility of jointly marketing packages that would promote multi-destination travel within the Pacific, capitalising on the diverse cultural and natural attractions of the islands.

During the meeting, Mr. Cocker revealed that SPTO and VTO are considering the development of a customised online training program in partnership with a supplier. The program aims to support Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in refining their tour packages and elevating their marketing efforts for international trade partners. The training program would focus on enhancing the skills of tourism professionals, ensuring they are well-equipped to deliver exceptional experiences to visitors while maintaining sustainability and cultural sensitivity.

Additionally, SPTO is committed to organising in-country training sessions on Research and MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning) for VTO. The objective is to empower local stakeholders with valuable insights and data-driven strategies to enhance tourism planning, marketing, and development. By investing in research and monitoring practices, the Pacific region can make informed decisions to optimise its tourism potential responsibly.

Mr. Cocker also lauded Fiji Airways for its unwavering commitment to supporting SPTO and all delegates attending the Board Meeting in Tahiti on October 16th-20th, 2023. He commended the airline for its ongoing and future expansion plans, further emphasising the airline’s dedication to the growth of the tourism industry in the Pacific.

In addition to VTO and Fiji Airways’ collaboration, other regional stakeholders have expressed interest in joining forces to promote sustainable tourism development in the Pacific. SPTO has been in discussions with several Pacific Island nations to explore possibilities for joint marketing initiatives, sharing best practices in tourism management, and supporting community-based tourism projects that preserve local cultures and protect natural resources.

“These collaborative initiatives signify a major stride towards strengthening partnerships in the Pacific region. The engagements between SPTO, VTO, and Fiji Airways underscore our shared dedication to enhancing tourism experiences, fostering growth in the industry, and promoting sustainable practices. As we look ahead, discussions between the involved parties remain ongoing, and we eagerly anticipate the successful implementation of the proposed projects,” said Mr. Cocker.

The meetings reflect a significant step forward in regional collaboration, demonstrating the commitment of Pacific tourism leaders to work together for the benefit of the industry and the sustainable development of the region. By fostering strong partnerships and leveraging the unique offerings of each Pacific island, the region is poised to attract more tourists, promote economic growth, and safeguard its natural and cultural heritage for future generations.

Source: SPTO news release.