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ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

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34 AROUND THE WORLD ASIA Sri Lanka: Authentic, Compact and Diverse Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga believes that Sri Lankan tourism growth will be stimulated by an ambitious program of investments into the country’s infrastructure. “I am pleased about the fast development of our tourism. We welcomed last year close to 2.2 million international arrivals, up by 3.5% over 2016, and we are targeting to pass the 2.5 million mark this year. We have thousands of new hotel rooms to be added in the near future. Tourism is today our third largest source of foreign exchange,” Amaratunga said. India was the largest inbound market for Sri Lanka, followed by China, the UK, Germany and France. “Europe remains an extremely important source market for us. It continued to grow last year by 6%, representing over 660,000 travellers to our country. Although we experienced a small decrease out of Germany, we came in large numbers to ITB Berlin to show our commitment to the German and European market,” added the Minister. Sri Lanka Tourism and Promotion Board is launching a worldwide marketing and communication which will run until April. It will be followed by a digital advertising campaign for Sri Lanka’s five top markets in May, while a new global campaign will be launched early next year. “We want to emphasize that Sri Lanka is a summer holiday destination 365 days a year. Three words characterize Sri Lanka: authenticity-compactnessdiversity,” said Amaratunga. Sports, nature tourism, traditions with festivals as well as Ayurveda are the main themes promoted by the SLTPB in its future campaigns. A major boost to tourism is the commitment of the government to the development of infrastructures. “We are currently reclaiming Colombo Harbour. In the next two years, we will have along our waterfront state-ofthe art infrastructures including a convention hall, a deluxe hotel as well as a shopping mall and entertainment facilities,” Amaratunga explained. “We are also embarked into a highway development project, the enlargement of Colombo International Airport as well as modernizing domestic airports. This is an unprecedented effort” Sri Lanka press conference @ ITB Berlin 2018 Okinawa @ ITB Berlin 2018 Okinawa – Growing Passenger Transport Hub for Japan and Asia Okinawa has become a top tourist destination not only in Japan but throughout Asia and is also the hub of airline travel for Japan and Asia. By using Okinawa as a hub, European tourists can readily access cities across Japan. With this in mind, last year Okinawa Prefecture started the “Okinawa International Airport Passenger Hub Creation Project”, promoting Okinawa as a gateway hub connecting Japan, Asia, and the world. This spring, together with ANA and Lufthansa, a solid travel product line-up is being put together aimed at offering European travellers a new way to enjoy Asia. Situated in the middle of the East China Sea, Okinawa, with its 150 islands, has been a traditional trading centre since historical times, connecting sea routes between Japan, China, and other Asian areas and connecting airways still today. But the Japanese prefecture offers a natural paradise with crystal-clear water, deep forests, and dedicated people and is, therefore, an excellent base for tourist attractions marketed under the brand “Be. Okinawa.” It is not for nothing that Okinawa came in first place on TripAdvisor’s Top Destinations on the Rise 2018. Managers from the prefecture and ANA airlines have taken on the task of combining their function as an air transport hub with the potential for tourism. At ITB Berlin 2018, they thus presented special airfares and three travel scenarios that make the long-haul destination particularly attractive from places like Germany: Japan Triple Destination combines a tour of Tokyo, Sapporo, and Okinawa. Asia Triple Cities joins Tokyo and Okinawa, only two and a half hours from one another by plane, with the South Korean capital Seoul, or makes it possible to tour Hong Kong and Shanghai with a stop in Okinawa. And for Gateway to Asia, Okinawa essentially acts as a springboard to Seoul and Taiwan. An additional runway is planned in Naha Airport by 2020 after a new terminal was already added in 2014 – both provide extra capacity ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

OCEANIA AROUND THE WORLD 35 Water Sports and Nature Preservation at Heart of New Caledonia Tourism Promotion at ITB Berlin New Caledonia Tourism, in partnership with Aircalin, Noumea Discovery Travel Company and Noumea Travel Specialist, were present at ITB Berlin under the flag of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, and on Stand N° 104 in the “South Pacific Village” attractions and new tourism initiatives in 2018. New Caledonian tourism is continuing its growth, and from 2013 has produced a steady increase in tourist traffic year after year. From January to October 2017 the destination welcomed 95,456 tourists (including total of 33,059 from Europe) and were due to easily exceed the annual objective of 119,000. This is without counting the 493,278 cruise passengers who visited in 2017. This positive trend was confirmed with a 4.1% increase in numbers in 2017 compared to 2016 and 5.3% compared to 2015 (recorded from January to October), mainly due to increases coming from the destination’s neighbouring countries: Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the other Oceanian islands. This French archipelago in the Pacific, located 17,000kms from Europe, has many attractions up its sleeve to appeal to tourists, most notably the second largest coral Barrier Reef in the world, together with its UNESCO World Heritage listed lagoons which have been registered since 2008. A convincing argument for lovers of both water sports and the preservation of nature, which NCT intends to highlight by celebrating in suitable style this 10-year anniversary of the World Heritage listing. Indeed, this is the major theme in 2018 tourist promotions, with various events linked to it. At the same time, as this anniversary, and following on from a year focused on culture and gastronomy which featured most notably the B2C “Sounds of New Caledonia” campaign with the video being nominated at the Golden City Gate in the Tourism Multimedia Awards category, NCT is launching a new multi-channel and multi-market New Caledonia @ ITB Berlin 2018 B2C marketing campaign around the concept of “the country of increased reality” enabling the visitor to “Move out of the dream and into reality” Papua New Guinea NEW TOUR FOR TEMPORARY ROBINSON CRUSOES – ADVENTURE HOLIDAY ON KABAKON ISLAND For the first time in 2018, the Australian based company “Oceania Expeditions” offers an adventure experience on a remote island off the coast of East New Britain, a province of Papua New Guinea.. Guests who book the “Kabakon Survivor”, will spend four days on a south sea island during which they cater for themselves. Kabakon Island lies in the Bismarck Archipelago, a short boat ride from Kokopo and Rabaul in East New Britain. It’s uninhabited yet fertile, used by the villagers on next-door Karawara Island as their garden isle. Here, papaya, banana and pineapple grow in abundance, taro and tapioca thrive under groves of coconut palms, and the surrounding seas swarm with a rich harvest of seafood. After a first comfortable night at Kokopo Beach Bungalows, participants leave the western civilisation behind and set off to live four days in bungalows with thatched roofs and spectacular views on the ocean. Visiting villagers from Karawara will teach them the skills they need to “survive” – from learning to hunt lobster, to paddling outrigger canoes to reach the local fishing grounds. Learn from the village women how to cook in a ground oven, how to de-husk coconuts and make your own coconut milk, and discover where the scrub fowls nest to harvest their eggs. Local children will teach guests to weave mats and hats that they can take with them, while songs and stories from the elders will help them understand the customs and lores of the local people. NEW ADVENTURE PRODUCT OFFERING IN MILNE BAY, PNG PNG Trekking Adventures is offering a new tour in the surrounds of Alotau, Milne Bay, one of the most beautiful areas of Papua New Guinea. This trekking and paddling expedition is raw and out there. Very few tourists have walked nor have they paddled here. The exploration of this trekking/ kayaking corridor was only carried out in October 2014. Papua New Guinea @ ITB Berlin 2018 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

ITB Berlin News