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ISSUE NO. 15 – 27TH APRIL 2001


New programme to help overseas partners market Seychelles better

The Seychelles Tourism Marketing Authority (STMA) will soon launch a training programme that will provide overseas tour operators and travel agents with comprehensive, first hand information to successfully market Seychelles as the preferred long haul destination.

The authority's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Francis Savy explained that the initiative, to be launched in July, would be a reinforcement of the "smart marketing approach" adopted by STMA. The authority would also arm the partners with the necessary tools in the form of structured modules, which would be delivered in a series of "carefully graded lessons designed to ensure a progressive accumulation of knowledge that can be evaluated at various stages."

Eventually, he said, the effort would give rise to an exclusive club of faithful tour operators and travel agents. The idea, he said, was also aimed at creating incentive schemes aimed at increasing sales, while building confidence in, and a sense of loyalty, towards Seychelles. (Source: Tourism-newswire, 18/04/01)

Mediterranean Travel Fair

Reed Travel Exhibitions is proud to announce that the second Mediterranean Travel Fair will take place 24-26 September 2001 in Cairo, Egypt. Mediterranean Travel Fair caters for the burgeoning markets of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, and Palestine. The inaugural event attracted an impressive array of buyers from 63 countries last year. The exhibitor profile was impressively international with 25 countries targeting this region, including tourism board representation from Spain, Bahrain, China, India, Switzerland, Morocco, Libya, Jordan, Hong Kong, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, to name but a few. In its recently issued "Tourism Market Trends" report, the World Tourism Organisation has cited this region as one of the fast growing in the world. For further information email (Source: Reed Travel Exhibitors, 12/04/01)


French Polynesia launches tourism investment incentives

French Polynesia's Territorial Assembly has passed a new set of tourism investment incentives, the local government said in a news release. The bill, which was sponsored by French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse, is dubbed the "Flosse Bill." It mainly offers tax exemptions for building projects in the hospitality industry, such as resorts and hotels. It requires a minimum investment of 100 million CFP (US$ 750,000) for companies wishing to build a new project. Taxes are also waived for projects that upgrade existing buildings that exceed 30 million CFP (US$ 227,000). To receive a waiver, a project must be completed by December 31, 2003. (Source: Pacific Islands Report, 20/04/01)

Air Fiji plans to expand regional flights

Air Fiji is looking at the possibility of expanding its regional services under Pacific Link. In the third quarter of this year, the airline plans to introduce a weekly service between Nadi and Vava'u in northern Tonga. This is considered to have the greatest potential for tourism development in the island kingdom, with diving, whale watching and cruising among its attractions. Air Fiji already operates its fast 30-seat Embraer Brasilia turboprop on scheduled services from Suva-Nuku'alofa (Tonga)-Suva and Suva-Funafuti (Tuvalu)-Suva. It has also recently been flying charter flights between Tonga and Niue.

Ken MacDonald, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Fiji, said: "Talks are now underway with the Tongan Government for the go-ahead to operate the service." Royal Tongan Airlines operated a Vava'u-Nadi-Vava'u flight until it sold its HS748 turboprop aircraft. Air Fiji has been providing all domestic services in Tonga for five weeks until a week ago when Royal Tongan Airlines sorted out certification problems with its regulatory authority. At the same time, Air Fiji provided a weekly flight between Tonga and Niue for the same reason. (Source: The Fiji Times, 19/04/01)

Munda to become a new Solomons international airport

A new international airport is to be developed at Munda in the Western Province of Solomon Islands, according to the government's 2001 development budget. The upgrading of Munda airport to international standard has been allocated two million dollars from a loan from the Asian Development Bank. Munda was developed as a major American military airport in World War Two and its airport has in the past been used for some regional flights. Its further development is intended to help the growing tourism industry in the Western Province, including diving and game fishing.

At the moment Honiara's Henderson International Airport on Guadalcanal is the country's main airport. The government has allocated 3.6 million dollars for the construction of selected airfields, funded by a grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Preparatory work is to be carried out on the feasibility of developing international airports in Malaita and Temotu provinces as well. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 17/04/01)


Hospitality & Tourism Training for American Samoa

For the first time ever the SPTO training team will travel to American Samoa to conduct a 1 week Hospitality and Tourism Training on Accommodation, Food and Beverage Services. A total of 6 courses will be delivered with a fairly good number of employees being registered to attend.

Classes will be run from 8am till 10pm in order to accommodate both full time and part time staff employed in the industry. The team will return to Suva on May 8th and they are due to travel to Rabaul on May 14 for a 3-week training program. For further inquiries on the SPTO Human Resource Training program contact Timoci Rasovo, Training Team Leader at Email:

USA South Pacific Roadshow

SPTO is currently planning a Roadshow to be conducted in the USA and Canada. The proposed dates are Monday 24th September to Friday 5th October 2001. The Roadshow will target key travel agents in the North American market.

Proposed venues for USA are Sacramento; Berkley Marina-SFO; Denver, Colorado; Boulder, Colorado; Salt Lake City; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Houston, Texas; Tacoma; Bellevue; Seattle; Washington and Chicago. The proposed venues for Canada are Vancouver; Kelowna; Calgary and Victoria. This Roadshow will be on a totally user-pays basis and the costing will be provided once the venues are confirmed. Please indicate your interest in participating in the USA South Pacific Roadshow by emailing Diane Nalatu, Membership Officer at We will also appreciate your comments on the proposed format and venues for the Roadshow.


CNN Travel Now covers PNG

Trans Niugini Tours is pleased to announce that their world renowned Wilderness Lodges in the Highlands and Sepik was featured together with diving on the CNN Travel Now program last Saturday 21st April (6:30a/11.00a EST). It was a good opportunity to update those you had been to the Lodges already and an experience for those who haven't been to the lodges. There will be an additional program specifically on the Sepik River on the CNN Travel Now program in June 2001. For further inquiries on Trans Niugini Tours, please contact Bob Bates at Email: (Source: Trans Niugini Tours, 19/04/01)

Le Legon Parkroyal gets new name

The Le Lagon Parkroyal, Vanuatu, was re-branded to Crowne Plaza Vanuatu Resort on April 18th, 2001. Crowne Plaza Vanuatu Resort is also the venue for the South Pacific Tourism Conference, scheduled for September, 2001.

Foot-and-mouth Blow To Tourism

Foot-and-mouth disease in Europe is eating away at this summer’s hotel bookings. According to Sue Springer, Executive Director of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, the outlook from Britain, Barbados’ No 1 tourist market, is bleak. "I think the events taking place in Britain at the moment are very worrying. It will certainly have an effect on employment, on people’s disposable income and just how much money they have to travel," said Loveridge.

The United States economy has placed some pressure on world business, and tourism is one of those business sectors that is being affected. Springer added that there were more competing destinations this year, with Cancun, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Dubai, among others, giving Barbados a run for its money. Bad publicity was also another problem, Springer added, noting Barbados’ reputation deteriorated when unfavourable articles were published in other major countries. (Source: Barbados Nation, 10/04/01)

Any Comments? News to Share?

 If you have any comments about this newsletter or articles and information relevant to tourism both within the region and internationally, please send to" target="_blank"> Please also include the source of the item.

 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.


Jaspreet Singh Marketing Officer South Pacific Tourism Organisation Level 3, FNPF Place 343 - 359 Victoria Parade Suva FIJI ISLANDS Tel: (679) 304177 Fax: (679) 301995 Email:

Visit South Pacific Islands at

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