ISSUE NO. 17 - 4TH JULY 2002


New Zealand visitors continue to increase 118,201 tourists visited New Zealand in the month of May 2002, a 6.5 percent increase on May 2001. This brings the total visitors for the year ended May 2001 up to 1,952,787 an increase of 4.4 percent. The markets with the strongest growth continue to be the United Kingdom, up by 14.8 percent for the month of May and China, up by 51.3 percent. Both these markets have continued to grow throughout 2002. The number of visitors from New Zealand’s biggest market, Australia, increased by 2.5 percent on the same month in 2001, to 39,984 visitors. Positive results also came out of most Asian markets in May, with Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia all recording increases in visitors. The US and Germany were the only main markets to record a decrease in May, with the US market decreasing by 1.2 percent while German arrivals decreased by 25 percent. (Source: 21/6/02) 

Air travellers more worried by DVT than September 11 Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is deterring more people from flying than Sept 11, according to new research by Visa UK. Visa said its research showed that four in five people in the UK (76%) are not planning to travel long haul for their holiday in the next 12 months. Of these, 27% said they are put off by what they have read in the media about the risk of DVT. Other concerns include travelling with children, cramped seats and not being able to sleep on the flight. The vast majority - 83% said the events of Sept 11 had not affected their travel decisions. Only 16% said it had deterred them from long haul travel. After the USA, the second most popular destination with British long haul travellers is Australia (13%), followed by the Caribbean (8%), Canada (7%) and Thailand and India (both 5%). (Source: TravelMole, 1/7/02)


New hotel for French Polynesia A new US$77million hotel will soon be built in Moorea (Windward islands). The government of French Polynesia has announced that special tax exemptions have been granted to the project. The company in charge of the project, "South Pacific Golf and Resort Development", plans to build 154 rooms, restaurants, tennis courts, spa and fitness centers and a golf course. The name of the company who will run this five-stars hotel has not been announced yet. The construction of the hotel itself should generate hundreds of jobs. The Council of ministers has also extended in the last months tax exemption programs for golf courses. So far, French Polynesia has only one golf course. It is located in Tahiti, about 50 kms from Papeete. (Source: Tahitipresse, 1/7/02)

New head for Fiji Visitors Bureau Hotelier Viliame Gavoka is the new chief executive of the Fiji Visitors Bureau. His appointment follows the retirement of Sitiveni Yaqona. Mr. Gavoka brings a wealth of experience in management and tourism after working in the industry for 24 years. He was director sales and marketing for the Shangri-La’s Fiji properties for seven years and has been the general manager for the Fiji Mocambo Hotel since 1992. Bureau chairman, Mr. Weleilakeba said Mr. Yaqona has been instrumental in steering the FVB during trying times after the events of May 19, 2000. (Source: The Fiji Times, 3/7/02)

Tourist ships come in for Kiribati Weekly cruise ship visits to Kiribati's Fanning Island are bringing big changes to the small atoll. They include a booming cash economy, new immigration and the early stages of urbanization and environmental change. The Norwegian Star cruise ship anchors off Fanning Island weekly on cruises south from Honolulu. Nearly 2000 tourists aboard visit Fanning Island for up to six hours each week. Passengers are eager to stretch their legs after nearly two days at sea, eat and be entertained ashore, swim in the postcard-perfect lagoon and spend money. 

Before Norwegian Cruise Lines began regular visits to Fanning Island in December, the atoll's 1600 residents were served only by a monthly cargo ship and visited occasionally by sailboats and yachts. The residents were mostly self-sufficient or employed in agriculture. Now dozens of residents have been employed by the cruise line, which has built a million-dollar visitor center on Fanning. Hundreds of others have rushed to set up handicraft businesses catering to the tourists. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 26/6/02)

New Chief Executive for Tahiti Tourisme Dany Panero is the new chief executive for Tahiti Tourisme. She replaces Brigitte Vanizette who has recently been appointed as the Minister responsible for Tourism and Environment. Ms. Panero has been working at Tahiti Tourisme for the past 10 years. Aged 39 years, she was in charge of the Public Relations department at Tahiti Tourisme in Papeete prior to the appointment. (Source: Tahiti Tourisme, 26/6/02)

Moorea Pearl Resort opens French Polynesia’s newest resort, the Moorea Pearl Resort opened its doors for guests from all over the world on Friday, June 28th. The first privileged clients enjoyed the stunning location of the property as well as the sumptuous 700m² swimming pool. This enchanting hotel has over 20,000 Polynesian and tropical plants on its grounds, an exquisite architecture combining authentic materials and exotic carved woods as well as a fully dedicated staff, is now becoming one of the major jewels of the Sister Island. For further information visit (Source: Moorea Pearl Resort, 29/6/02)


SPTO/EU Project: Institutional Strengthening of SPTO Applications are invited for experienced and qualified individuals to provide institutional support to the SPTO and the Pacific tourism industry. The SPTO is a regional organization, with the principal role of fostering regional cooperation in the development of tourism and undertaking regional initiatives in the fields of tourism marketing and promotion, research and development and training. Following is a brief description of the newly created positions:

Post 1. Transition Project Officer (TPO) The Transition Project Officer will assist the staff of SPTO to plan, implement and monitor work programme projects and programmes and assist with fundraising for Work Programme projects. The TPO is required to assist SPTO in matters relating to securing new funds to ensure SPTO’s long-term sustainability. The TPO should therefore have the skills to secure funding from private sources (including private sponsorships), donor governments and international aid agencies. He/she is expected to assist in formulating policies to increase government and private sector membership.

Post 2: Web Marketing Expert (WME) The Web Marketing Expert will maintain, review and constantly upgrade SPTO’s core areas of website content to assist with the launching of approved commercial and business activities. The WME is required to improve the worldwide “reach” of SPTO’s website; review and recommend registration with web directories, search engines and key portals for better accessibility and links and conduct marketing, promotional and membership drive activities on the website, amongst other duties.

Detailed description of both positions is available on our website:  


Tax exemptions for cruise ships in French Polynesia The French Polynesia Assembly has voted in a new tax exemption program for inter-island cruises. The bill provides that every company running one or more cruise ships can benefit from tax exemptions, financial aid for promotion abroad and for training. The government of French Polynesia also guarantees that there will be no major tax reforms in the years to come. Cruise companies will be asked to hire more Tahitians than before. Ships operating within French Polynesia are a major business, with passengers flying in to board them for inter-island cruises. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 3/7/02)

Apia's local airport still out of action Polynesian Airlines and Samoa Air are still operating through Faleolo International Airport for domestic services and flights between the Samoas. The airlines said they will do so until the Samoa Airport Authority addresses safety concerns on the runway at Fagalii Airport, in Apia city. Resealing of the runway and renovation work to the parking lot and the main terminal building started on April 15. They were to have been fully completed last month. But both airlines have concerns that loose gravel on the runway could cause damage to aircraft when landing and taking off. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 1/7/02) 

Air Niugini set to replace Airbus with Boeing 767 Air Niugini is finalising arrangements to return its Airbus A310 and lease a Boeing 767-300 aircraft for its international services. The Boeing 767-300 is expected to begin commercial services from July 19. Air Niugini chairman Sir Michael Bromley said the service would provide the national flag carrier with an opportunity to increase revenue and lower costs on its international operations. Sir Michael said 11 flight attendants and aircrew from PNG are undergoing flight crew training in Auckland. Air Niugini operates international services to Brisbane and Cairns (Australia), Honiara (Solomon Islands), Manila (Philippines), Singapore, and Tokyo (Japan). The Boeing 767 will fly to Brisbane, Manila, Singapore and Tokyo. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 27/6/02)

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 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, its key markets and internationally. 

Editor Jaspreet Sharma

South Pacific Tourism Organisation Level 3, FNPF Place, 343 - 359 Victoria Parade Suva, FIJI ISLANDS Ph: (679) 330 4177 Fax: (679) 330 1995 E-mail: Visit South Pacific Islands at SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS DISCOVER PARADISE!! 

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