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20 REGION OCEANIA FIJIAN

20 REGION OCEANIA FIJIAN TOURISM ATTRACTS NEW INVESTMENT THROUGH NATIONAL PROVIDENT FUND Fiji’s National Provident Fund CEO Aisake Taito has announced that investing in a growing and rewarding industry such as tourism provides the kind of return on investments his organisation is seeking. And those investments, said Mr Taito, ensure FNPF members are provided with quality employment opportunities. In Fiji, the tourism industry is regarded as the largest provider of jobs and the greatest earner of foreign exchange in the country. Investment projects include the Momi, Natadola and Grand Pacific Hotel projects with others potentially in the pipeline once these are completed. Mr Taito said FNPF believed there was greater potential in the sector and would continue to support the industry. “Tourism provides a very wide range of employment opportunities, from resort staff members such as cleaners, cooks, receptionists, security officers, accountants, taxi drivers, tour operators and to those outside the industry such as farmers who sell their produce to the resorts,” he said. Swimming with whales Still an Undiscovered Haven South Pacific Tourism Organisation promotes fishing, diving, romance and relaxation as topping the list of things to do across the region Described as an “undiscovered haven for travellers seeking new and unique experiences and direct connections from Singapore, Beijing, Manila, Bali, Seoul and Narita”, the South Pacific today plays a vital role in facilitating growth in Asia. The South Pacific Tourism Organisation recently rolled out its 2014 marketing plans, and among the various travel trade and road shows planned, SPTO will be marketing the South Pacific to its traditional, long haul and emerging markets as well. This will include Australia, New Zealand for the short haul markets, North America, UK and Continental Europe for the long haul and China, South Korea and the rest of Asia for emerging markets. According to SPTO chief executive officer, Mr Ilisoni Vuidreketi, the choice to market the South Pacific in these countries is due to their ongoing purchasing strength: “The potential generated through favourable economic conditions in these parts of the world present the South Pacific in such a way as to attract the affluent traveller market,” he said. “For most Pacific island countries, Australia and New Zealand will remain their biggest tourism source markets for a long while and the SPTO does not project any major change in this. What the SPTO projects in the increase in numbers from emerging markets such as China in the future,” he said. In addition to this, SPTO also focuses on niche marketing, which includes the promotion of specific segments such as the fishing and dive market. “This is done through organized travel agent familiarization trips that are carried out annually at selected SPTO member countries,” he said. In terms of attractions in the South Pacific, culture remains to be the most sought after attraction for travellers across the region. “The SPTO is in the process of finalizing a research report on Cultural tourism in the region and this will be shared to all key tourism stakeholders to assist them in sustainably growing the tourism whilst still maintain their rich and diverse cultural heritage,” he said. Hall 5.2 A Stand 104 MORE INFORMATION: www.spto.org ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 28 th February 2014 www.itb-berlin-news.com

OCEANIA REGION 21 Building a Better Future in the South Pacific – Thanks to Better Monitoring and Evaluation Samoa The SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation) has announced it is building on its monitoring and evaluation system. The overall objective of the Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme (PRTCBP) is “to improve Pacific ACP states’ economic integration through strengthened national systems and institutional frameworks to develop capacity, increase private sector competitiveness and increase international market access in the tourism sector. M & E specialist from Allen & Clarke, a Wellington based company, Ned Hardie-Boys said the review will help build the staff skills and ability to successfully monitor and evaluate progress towards the intended results of their work activities, and enable them to better understand the impact of their work activities and how it contributes to positive change in the tourism sector. “It’s about getting people to think about the difference they are making to people’s lives and businesses across the Pacific, rather than just focusing on what they are doing/delivering. And then, thinking critically about how they can make greater contribution in these areas by understanding what works well, what doesn’t and why,” he said. Hall 5.2 A Stand 104 Hall 9 Stand 316 Sheraton First International Hotel Brand to Enter Samoa STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS DEBUTS IN SAMOA WITH TWO NEW HOTEL SIGNINGS Havannah Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc has announced that it has signed definitive management agreements to operate the Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows and Aggie Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa on the island of Upolu Samoa. The hotels will join the Starwood Hotels & Resorts group immediately, and will re-launch as the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort, respectively, by mid- 2014 following extensive renovations. The signings mark Starwood’s debut into the region. Owned by the Grey family, who also have an association with Starwood on Le Meridien Resort in Tahiti, the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort, will undergo multimillion dollar renovations to bring them up to Sheraton brand standards. “We are delighted to announce this partnership and build on our already strong relationship with the Grey Family,” said Sean Hunt, Regional Vice President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Pacific. The Grey family has been an institution in Samoa providing superior service and amenities since the early 1900s. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 28 th February 2014

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