PACIFIC TOURISM SHOW IN LONDON

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By Howard Dicus

LONDON, England (November 19, 2001 – Pacific Business News)---In the late 1800s, exhibitions of Pacific culture in London captivated the British. They fell in love with Hawaiian monarchs and Japanese crafts. Gilbert & Sullivan were inspired to write "The Mikado" and "Utopia Limited." (The latter opera, ostensibly set in the South Pacific, was more probably inspired by what was then the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.)

The South Pacific Tourism Organization hopes to pull this off again.

All this week in London the SPTO is staging a show at the World Travel Market, Earls Court, London.

Tourism officials and performers from Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and the Cook Islands will present what they call "South Pacific Village."

The campaign slogan is "Discover Paradise."

The offerings on-site will include a honeymoon guide to the South Pacific.

The significance of the campaign to Hawai‘i is not that it will attract visitors to the state but that it may divert to South Pacific locales people who might otherwise visit Hawai‘i.

South Pacific hoteliers and other visitor industry business people hold out the hope of luring the British to their locales in part because British visits to Australia actually rose in September, running about 10 percent above year-ago levels, while other arrivals were plummeting in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States.

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