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World Travel Market moves to London's ExCel World Travel Market (WTM) is to move from Earls Court to ExCel, UK's newest, purpose built, state-of-the-art exhibition and conference center at London's Dockland's in 2002. The unanimous decision by the Advisory Council in September follows extensive research with World Travel Market exhibitors over the past nine months. Currently being built on a 100-acre site, the 250 million pounds ΕxCel, situated on the waterside, can accommodate up to 65,000 square meters of column-free exhibition space, plus an additional 13,000 square meters of breakout, seminar and function rooms, directly accessible from the exhibition halls. Journey time from central London to ExCel is 15 minutes drive and the venue is just five minutes from London City Airport. ExCel will also have a choice of six hotels with 1,150 bedrooms, 500 apartments and service apartments.

(Source:, 18/12/00)


The US Seniors Market

The US mature adult population not only vacations more, but spends 30% more per person on travel than any other group, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. Well educated 55-plussers make up the bulk of the U.S. outbound international travel market. The mature market has an average of 16 days per year for vacation compared to their younger counterparts who take an average of only 11 days. Mature travelers are fueling a boom in the adventure and nature holidays centered on a theme or hobby. They are also creating a demand for holidays that include a cultural, educational or historic element. During 1998, 53.6 million adults visited a museum or historical site and 33 million attended a cultural event such as live theatre, art or music. Older travelers also spend more; an average of US$1,300 on adventure trip, compared to US$660 for those aged between 18-34. The 55 - 74 population will almost double from 40 million to 74 million, within the next 30 years. (Source: Tourism Industry Intelligence Vol. 7, No. 12 2000)


British Airways launches new cabin concept

British Airways has launched its new first class cabin concept, a UKP20m investment which completes a whole range of improvements to cover Club World, Club Europe and World Traveler. British Airways says that the new cabin style complements the interior of a Rolls-Royce car, using only the best fabric and textures, Connolly leather, burr walnut wood effect and cashmere-style and velvet fabrics. A feature of the new concept is an individual booth for each passenger featuring a seat that converts to a fully flat 6ft 6in bed. Some of the world's top chefs are working with British Airways to provide quality fresh food and innovative dishes. (Source: Air & Business Travel News, 19/12/00)



Air New Zealand website has sites for Pacific Islands Air New Zealand website now has a site for each of the following countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. Each of the sites provides information specifically about travel including special offers that are available in each country. The sites also contain general information such as inflight services, baggage allowances and travel guides. In the coming months more facilities will be added to each Pacific Island site to make booking and planning easier and more convenient. The new Pacific Islands sites are online now at (Source: Coral Route Communique, December 2000)

Marine protected areas on the way

Amidst growing concern over rapidly disappearing marine resources, delegates from Melanesian countries met in Port Vila from 11th to 15th of December to push for marine protected areas to be setup. Although the five island nations attending are separated by vast tracts of Pacific Ocean, they all share common problems regarding the rapid erosion of marine life near coastal villages where large communities of Pacific islanders still live. Addressing their needs is seen as a priority by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the reason for the Marine Protected Areas Workshop for Melanesian countries. "In the Pacific about 80 per cent of natural resources belong to communities, so it is vital to involve communities to ensure the success of any project," says Lucille Apis-Overhoff, SPREP’s Wetlands Management Officer. During the weeklong workshop delegates from New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu were shown an array of skills to manage coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. (Source: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, 14/12/00)

Air Rarotonga applying for 5% fare and freight rate increase Air Rarotonga has made an application to the Ministry of Transport for a 5% increase in inter-island airfares and freight rates to take effect as of 18th December, 2000. The airline, in a media release, said the increase has been brought about by further rises in the cost of fuel and foreign currency costs for aircraft insurance, overhauls and parts which are incurred in United States dollars. Although there has been indication of some improvement in both oil prices and the New Zealand dollar, the airline said it will be several months before lower price jet fuel stocks reach Rarotonga. The last fuel price adjustment took effect in October with an increase of 13% in that month alone. Air Rarotonga’s Managing Director, Ewan Smith, said "the airline is monitoring the situation carefully, and is hopeful that a drop in fuel costs and improvement in the dollar will occur early in the new year, bringing benefits that can be passed on to travelers and cargo customers". (Source:, 11/12/00)

Samoa looks great

Samoa is about to become busier now that United Airlines has signed a codeshare agreement on Air New Zealand’s flights to and from Auckland and Apia and to and from Apia and Los Angles. The codeshare agreement makes it easier for Samoa to become a preferred destination for American tourists. To meet the demand from travelers, Air New Zealand has introduced an extra mid-week flight between Auckland and Apia earlier this year. The service proved so popular that the aircraft size has been increased from a B737 to B767. Air New Zealand is also planning for a busy Christmas period and will have three B747 aircraft serving Apia in the week of Christmas. (Source: Coral Route Communique, December 2000)



Taiwan Assistance for SPTO

Taiwan has provided US$100,000 to the South Pacific Tourism Organisation as part of an assistance package to seven regional organisations for 2000. The Representative of the Trade Mission for Taiwan/Republic of China in Fiji, Mr. C. K. Ning, handed over the assistance to Chief Executive for SPTO, Mr. Lisiate ‘Akolo, during a brief ceremony at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The projects submitted by SPTO included: Calendar of Events brochure, Promotional Video, Events Workshop, Research on potential of the Taiwanese tourism market for Pacific Islands and Tourism Management Information. The assistance was pledged during the Seventh Taiwan/ Republic of China-Forum Countries Dialogue held in Koror, Republic of Palau in October 1999. Taiwan had agreed to fund 27 regional projects submitted by regional organisations for implementation in 2000, amounting to US$1,028,454, a 40 per cent increase over 1999 figures. This does not include Taiwan’s bilateral assistance. A separate regional assistance package of US$1,004,454 has been pledged by Taiwan for 2001 following the Eighth Taiwan/Republic of China-Forum Countries Dialogue held in Tarawa, Kiribati in November 2000. The assistance covers 38 projects in eight regional organisations. (Source: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, 12/12/00)


Outstanding Member Fees for 2000

SPTO had billed its members for payment of membership fees for 2000. For those who have still not settled their accounts, please pay your accounts immediately. For further inquiries contact Diane Nalatu at 


Last minute registrations for DEMA

For those who are still interested in attending DEMA 2001, there are only 2 booths left. So hurry and register now! Deadline close on 5th January, 2001. Contact Allyson Makutu for registrations at


SPTO Suva closes for Christmas

SPTO Suva office will be closed for the festive period from 22nd December to 1st of January, 2001. The office will resume as normal from 2nd January, 2001. SPTO wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2001.



Pearl Resorts Update Cristine Obert, Sales Manager with the resort since 1998, has left the Pearl Resorts but remains involved with Polynesia as she will join the Tahiti Tourist Board located in Paris. Francois Hemery has joined the Pearl Resorts' team as Director of Operations. After 17 years with the Parkroyal chain, with his most recent position as General Manager in Penang, Francois returns to Polynesia where he was previously General Manager of the Moorea Beachcomber Parkroyal. His first major project is to reinforce and standardize the quality of service in all Pearl Resorts. The opening ceremony of the over water bungalows and name change to Aitutaki Pearl Beach Resort was held on 25th November, 2000. The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Hon. Dr T. Maoate officially opened the bungalows and also stayed at the resort for the weekend as did the Opposition Leader, Sir Geoffrey Henry and Lady Henry. Approximately 250 local Aitutakians and Rarotongan guests attended the ceremony. (Source: Pearl Resorts’ Journal Du Pacifique N0. 6)



YP Reddy awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

One of Fiji’s tourism stalwarts, Mr. YP Reddy was awarded the prestigious FVB Board of Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Tourism at the recent National Tourism Forum. The award is in recognition of Mr. Reddy’s contribution to tourism in Fiji. Mr. Reddy is the owner of Tanoa Hotels, Fiji’s only locally owned and operated chain of hotels with 6 properties all situated in the most popular holiday areas – the sunny dry western part of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. In Nadi the 135 room Tanoa International Hotel, 53 room Skylodge Hotel, 23 apartment Tanoa Apartments; in Vuda Point 16 room Anchorage Resort; in Lautoka 47 room The Waterfront Hotel and the 36 room Rakiraki Hotel in Rakiraki. (Source: Tanoa Hotels, 12/12/00)


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The SOUTH PACIFIC TOURISM WEEKLY UPDATE is produced and distributed by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) as a complimentary service to its members and friends of the South Pacific. The Weekly Update provides timely information on tourism happenings within the South Pacific region, it’s key markets and internationally.



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