INTERNET USAGE IN UK SET TO INCREASE BY 2005

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TOURISM COUNCIL OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC Suva, Fiji Islands

South Pacific Tourism Update No. 8 - June 11, 1999

Internet usage in the United Kingdom is set to increase to 30 million people (half of its population by 2005). Carat Insight, one of the largest advertising firms in the UK, revealed this following a study which indicated that only a minority of the population (10 million is the current figure) used the internet. This was in comparison to only 1 million in 1994. The study also revealed that travel is one of the fastest growing areas on the Internet. The study also profiled typical users, who were both women and men, who used the net to look for travel information. They are likely to be in the ABC1 social grades, all different age groups but particularly in the 25-34 bracket and a highly attentive audience who actively sought travel ideas, information and advertising. Thirty-two percent of these users were looking for travel and hotel information.

BULA FIJI TOURISM EXCHANGE A GREAT SUCCESS

The tourism industry in Fiji and the Pacific secured an estimated $200 million in business contracts during the recent Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange (BFTE) that was held in Fiji. The exchange has been hailed as a success for participants from Fiji and four other TCSP member countries who attended the event, including the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga. BFTE organizers attributed the success of the two-day event to the quality of the overseas tour wholesalers: 118 wholesalers from Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Thirty new wholesalers attended this year's BFTE, five from Europe and the remainder from the Americas. This year's BFTE, an initiative of the Fiji Visitors Bureau, was the fourth one to be held. TCSP is currently negotiating with the BFTE organizers to involve more of the region at BFTE 2000.

SOUTH PACIFIC TOURISM CONFERENCE

"The Pacific Heartbeat - Tourism 2000" is the theme of the Second South Pacific Tourism Conference that will be held in Apia, Samoa from October 19-21, 1999. The latest program, which includes a host of international speakers, is now available on the Conference's website which can be accessed at: http://www.sptc.org.fj For further information on the conference, contact: Alise Faulalo-Stunnenberg, Conference Coordinator, on spice@is.com.fj

BRITISH AIRWAYS "TOURISM FOR TOMORROW AWARDS"

Entries for the 1999 British Airways "Tourism for Tomorrow Awards" are now open. The Awards were originally set up in 1990 to encourage action from all sectors of the industry to protect the environment. British Airways took over the awards to help reinforce their global nature in 1992 and since then has developed the program to encompass all aspects of sustainable tourism. The Vanua Rapita Lodge in the Solomon Islands was a Highly Commended Project in 1998. Award entries or queries: Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, Environment Branch, Australasia House (HBBG), Waterside, PO Box 365, Middlesex UB7 OGB, UK. Deadline for all entries: August 1, 1999.

TRAINING FOR SMALL MEMBER STATES POSTPONED

The TCSP-sponsored workshops for small member states have now been slightly amended as follows: June 22-24 for Kiribati; June 28-29 for Niue; July 8-9 for Tuvalu. The workshops are aimed at providing basic marketing and communication skills training for participants, especially from small and medium scale tourism businesses in rural areas and outer islands.

COMPANY AWARDED CONTRACT TO PRODUCE TCSP COLLATERALS

Tahiti Image and Communications, based in Papeete, Tahiti, has been awarded the contract to produce the new set of TCSP promotional materials in 1999. The new set of collaterals will include CD-ROMs of TCSP images, a regional guide, posters, sales kits, promotional bags and a regional calendar of events. The new set of collateral materials is expected to be launched at the South Pacific Tourism Conference in Apia.

MERGER TO FORM LARGEST TRAVEL AGENCY CHAIN IN GERMANY

Thomas Cook, Hapag Lloyd and the Tui Travel Centres are to merge under the name Hapag Touristik (HTU) to form the largest travel agency chain in Germany. Together, the four companies will operate 1,500 travel agencies generating a combined market share of DM 8.47 Billion.

FALL IN LONG-HAUL BOOKINGS

Summer 1999 bookings made through the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) agents until the end of April were marginally down on the previous year at 3%. The Holiday Booking Survey produced by AC Nielson indicated that the beach hotel was ahead of the market overall at 4% while beach self-catering was marginally down on the overall market at 2%. Flight only and long-haul are also lagging behind the market at 18% and 15% respectively while city breaks have recovered from last month's fall of 3% to finish the month at +4%. Figures for winter 1998/1999 were also 3% down at the end of April, with strong bookings for beach hotel, up 6%. Flight only has fallen even further behind from last month - 16% to 19%, while long haul was 8% down.

Any Views or News for our Weekly Update Contact: Weekly Update Tourism Council of the South Pacific Email: spice@is.com.fj or Fax: [679] 301995

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