SPTO LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

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SOUTH PACIFIC TOURISM ORGANIZATION Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS RELEASE February 28, 2001

www.spto.org is the new home of the South Pacific Tourism Organization on the World Wide Web.

SPTO Chief Executive, Mr. Lisiate ‘Akolo, unveiled the new website, "South Pacific Islands Discover Paradise," on Tuesday, February 27 at the SPTO Boardroom.

"I am proud to present our redeveloped website, which will serve as an important marketing tool for SPTO, its members and for tourism in the South Pacific region. The website will focus on promoting the South Pacific destination, driving traffic through to members’ website and providing member services online," stated Mr. ‘Akolo.

He described the SPTO website as unique in the sense that it represents a hub of travel information on SPTO’s 13 member countries, the exotic island destinations of the South Pacific -- American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu -- under the SPTO banner at www.spto.org

"Our old website, launched in May 1996, was a popular source of travel information on the region. However, over time it became inept in meeting the needs of our members," stated Mr. ‘Akolo. He emphasized that the new website is a reassurance to all SPTO members that we are fully committed towards serving their needs as well as promoting the region through all mediums available.

The website is an excellent marketing opportunity for those SPTO member countries and private sector members who currently do not have the means to promote their activities on the Internet.

The website will serve to be the source of all tourism information to and within the South Pacific. It will be the regional hub and the websites of the National Tourist Offices and private sector members are the links, feeding relevant and up to date tourism information. It will also serve to entice web surfers to the South Pacific island destinations.

Highlights of www.spto.org include a tourism news section featuring the latest happenings at SPTO, regional tourism developments and deals and offers targeting tourists interested in the South Pacific destination. Other key features include a password protected back office exclusively available to all members and online shopping facilities at the SPTO Shop.

SPTO extended its appreciation to the European Union for funding the project, the tourism industry members for their contributions and Inet Fiji for designing the "South Pacific Islands Discover Paradise" website.

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