WTO – IOC Launch World Conference on Sport & Tourism

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SOUTH PACIFIC TOURISM UPDATE

ISSUE NO.19 12th May 2000

INTERNATIONAL UPDATE

WTO – IOC Launch World Conference on Sport & Tourism

Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli and the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Juan Antonio Samaranch, signed an agreement on April 27 with the President of the Autonomous Region of Catalunya, Jordi Pujol, and Barcelona deputy mayor Jordi Portabella, to hold the first "World Conference on Sport and Tourism" on 22-23 February, 2001 in Barcelona, Spain – the city which hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and has since then experienced rapid growth of its tourism industry. The objectives of the conference is to draw attention to the close links that exist between sport and tourism and their mutually beneficial impact on society, in terms of sustainable economic development and the promotion of peace and human understanding. The programme of the "World Conference on Sport and Tourism" will include as speakers the organisers of the past and future Olympic Games, tourism ministers, the heads of international sports federations, broadcasters and tourism promotion experts. The WTO is carrying out new research for this conference that will attempt to quantify the relationship between mega-sporting events and tourism to demonstrate how they combine to stimulate development. [Source WTO Members’ Update 10th May 2000]

International Trade Administration

The International Trade Administration (ITA) reported its survey of 1999 international arrivals to the United States found that a record 48.5 million international travellers visited the US in 1999. Over half of the arrivals were from Canada (over 14 million up 5% over 1998) and Mexico (over 10 million up 7% over 1998). Japan remained the top overseas arrivals market for the US (4.8 million), but the UK is moving up (4.3 million). Germany (2 million) and France (1.1 million) maintained their 3rd and 4th positions. Economic recovery in Asia, which began in 1999, according to the ITA, stimulated Asian arrivals for 1999. Total Asian arrivals were up 3% compared to a double-digit drop in 1998 (down 13%). The Asian economies such as South Korea and Taiwan played a major role in the growth of Asian arrivals for 1999. Both increased by double digits, up 37% to 498 643 and 17% to 453 299 respectively compared to 1998 arrivals. Arrivals from the Peoples Republic of China and Hong Kong were down by 9% for 1999. [Source Special Global Hospitality Newsletter 8th May 2000]

REGIONAL

Vanuatu’s Coongoola to Star on American Television

Historic Vanuatu day cruise ketch, Coongoola is to star on US television, she’s been filmed for a commercial showing an American couples holiday on a balmy South Pacific island. Film agency Martin/Williams and Hollywood producers Bruce Howards and associates choose Vanuatu and Coongoola on behalf of the Lincoln Financial Group, after Coongoola and the beach it uses for snorkelling and a barbecue were recommended by New Zealand film scouts - The Girl Film Company that had searched the South Pacific for a suitable location. The Girls Film Company owner Ian Gibbons and his wife also organised all land arrangements and for $2million worth of filming equipment to be flown to Vanuatu with an 18 person acting, camera and production team that included underwater cameraman Pete Romano famous for his shots for the movie – Free Willy. Filming included land and aerial shots of the couple snorkelling amid fish along reefs off Coongoola’s exclusive Happy Tok (Happy Talk) Beach, abroad the 23m (75ft) Coongoola. Other shots were taken along reefs and beaches at the small bush setting Tranquillity resort, operated by the same owners as Coongoola, South Pacific Cruises Ltd. [Source National Tourism Office of Vanuatu 10th May 2000]

New Zealand Overseas Travel Up 4% in March Quarter 2000

New Zealand resident overseas travel fell by less than 1% in January, before recording an 8% increase in February and a 4% rise in March. Total overseas departures in the first quarter of 2000 were recorded at 217 282 – an increase of 7 693 or 4% compared with the same three month period of 1999. "Holiday" travel declined by 1% in the March quarter. With "VFR" departures up 4% and "business" travel up 13%; those residents travelling overseas for "other" reasons rose by 9% in the three-month period under review. Within the top ten "countries of main destination" in the first quarter of the year, travel to Australia increased by 7%, with departures to the United States up 1% and to Fiji down 11%. Departures to the United Kingdom fell by 7% in the three-month period, with travel to Hong Kong down 3% and to Taiwan down 4%. New Zealand travel to Japan fell by 10% in the March quarter, with departures to Singapore down 9% and to Samoa and China up 19% and 0.4% respectively. Overall, total New Zealand overseas travel was recorded at 1.19million departures in the year ended March 2000 – an increase of 6 837 departures or 0.6% on the March year 1999. "holiday" travel, in the twelve-month period under review, declined by 2%, with "VFR" departures down 1% and "business" travel up 7%.

Travel to the South Pacific Islands: Travel to the "other" South Pacific Islands, as "area of main destination", rose by 6% in the three months ended March, with "holiday" and "business" departures up 15% and 4% respectively and "VFR" travel down 8%. By "country of main destination", New Zealand travel to the Cook Islands increased by 28% in the first quarter, with departures to Norfolk Island down 6% and to Vanuatu down 1%. Travel to Samoa rose by 19% in the three-month period, with departures to Tonga up 2% and to American Samoa up 49%. Departures to Papua New Guinea grew by 21%, while travel to Tahiti fell by 30% and to Niue and the Solomon Islands by 18% and 36% respectively. New Zealand travel to Fiji, as "country of main destination", declined by 11% in the first quarter of the year, with "holiday" departures down 6% and "VFR" and "business" travel down 14% and 23% respectively. [Source asmal New Zealand Travel Vol. 9 No.4 March 2000 (published May 2000)]

SPTO MEMBER UPDATE

Bridge the World – TOPS Results

Bridge the World an SPTO Tour Operator Partnership Scheme (TOPS) partner made the following sales and bookings for the period 1 Feb – 26 April 2000: Cook Islands 95 bookings and 17o passengers, Fiji 346 bookings and 630 passengers, Tahiti 57 bookings and 108 passengers, PNG 3 bookings and 5 passengers, Samoa 11 bookings and 18 passengers, Solomon Islands 1 booking and 1 passenger, Tonga 9 bookings and 17 passengers. This amounted to a total of 522 bookings for the region with 950 passengers actually travelling and a total turnover of GBP Sterling of 1 452 546. Reason of this change is that Air New Zealand released some fantastic special offers to Australia with stopovers in the South Pacific which were valid for sale during February and March 2000, this undoubtedly contributed to the increase in passengers booked. Qantas/British Airways also reduced their "World Discovery" fare for sales in February and March. This fare allows round-the-world travel, giving stopover options in Fiji, and encouraged passengers to travel round the world rather than just point-to-point to Australia/ New Zealand.

In February 2000, 25 000 Bridge the World South Pacific postcards were inserted into the February edition of Conde Nast Traveller magazine. Edition 6 of the Navigator Newsletter (out 9th February 2000) featured a full-page article on Tonga with the South Pacific Islands – Discover Paradise (SPTO branding) logo included. The front cover of the newsletter had a shot of the Solomon Islands promoting travel to the South Pacific in the year 2000. There was also a double page spread showing sample round the world itineraries, which included stops in the South Pacific. Total circulation of the Navigator Newsletter is 40 000. The Australia/New Zealand/World-wide Stopovers Brochure (out March 2000), included South Pacific stopover destinations as well. This was used as a direct mail piece to recent enquirers, and also won the recent ATC "Brochure of the Year Award 2000". [Source Bridge the World 6th May 2000]

MISCELLANEOUS

Sonaisali Island Resort Six Million Dollar Upgrade

Sonaisali Island Resort, Fiji has recently re-opened, following a fire which destroyed the resort’s central complex last year. The resort’s owners Peter, Jan and Aaron McGrath, have once again signaled their commitment to the highest standards of excellence in hospitality. The new complex has been rebuilt to the most exacting standards, with luxurious finishes and attention to detail designed to impress the most discerning traveller. The new development includes the Sunset Terrace Restaurant, catering for 200 guests, a new air-conditioned Fine Dinning Restaurant, plus "Tale" Bar and Cocktail Lounge. An outstanding feature of the resort is the new freeform swimming pool – one of the largest pools in Fiji. The pool extended the entire length of the lobby and main restaurant areas and features a 12-person spa and shaded Swim-Up Bar, set amidst the extensive tropical landscape. The resort has also recently added 46 additional spacious Fijian thatched bures, taking the total number of guestrooms to 81. [Source Sonaisali Island Resort Fiji May 2000]

Hilton Hotels Corporation

Hilton reported net income for the first quarter of year 2000 of $58 million, compared to $42 million for the same period a year ago, an increase of 38%. Across all brands, EBITDS from owned properties in the first quarter totaled $183 million, up 6.8%. RevPAR from comparable owned properties improved 4.7% with occupancy flat at 71.1% and ADR up 4.8%. During the first quarter, Hilton added a net 27 hotels and 3 087 rooms to its portfolio, which totals, at March 31, 1 779 hotels and 303 366 rooms. Stephen F. Bollenbach, Hilton President and CEO believes that, "The excellent results we showed in the first quarter are very real indicators that we are achieving our goals for the two main parts of our business – maximising RevPAR and EBITDA at our owned hotels, and growing our fee income stream by adding management and franchise agreements – and that the underlying fundamentals of our business and our industry are very strong". [Source Special Global Hospitality Newsletter 8th May 2000]

Any Views or News for our Weekly Update contact:

Diane Nalatu South Pacific Tourism Organisation E-mail: diane_n@spto.org  Tel: (679) 304 177, Fax: (679) 301 995

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