SOUTH PACIFIC TOURISM UPDATE 

ISSUE NO. 21 - 30TH AUGUST 2002 
INTERNATIONAL UPDATE

American travelers prefer environmentally-friendly holidays Approximately 80% of American travelers feel it is important that hotels actively take steps to preserve and protect our earth's natural resources according to a recent study conducted by Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). It reveals that 70% of Americans surveyed are willing to pay an extra US$50-$150 more for a two week stay in a hotel with a responsible environmental attitude and 55% are more likely to book a hotel with a responsible environmental attitude. Particularly popular are hotels that look after wildlife (64%) and are sensitive to marine life (46%). American travelers feel that purchasing local souvenirs (69%), seeking employees from local communities (57%), and providing job priority to them (62%) all enable local communities to improve sustainable travel. The survey also showed that 64% of American travelers feel it is important that hotels share resources like water and power with the local community. (Source: Tourism Intelligence International, August 2002) 

PATA releases 2002 arrival figures Arrival figures for 2002 show very mixed fortunes for Pacific Asia destinations, according to a report released by PATA. Of the 31 destinations for which data is available, 14 show positive gains in international visitor arrivals in 2002, with some substantial gains. In the first quarter of the year arrivals into Laos increased by 35 per cent while foreign arrivals to China for the first 6 months of the year grew by 16.3 per cent. With the large volume of traffic into China, this growth equates to an additional 860,000 arrivals and pushes the half-year total to over 6.1 million. The Pacific region is also seeing strong gains with Fiji posting an increase of almost 20 per cent for the first 6 months and Tonga improving its position by almost 14 per cent. New Zealand, with a gain of almost 5 per cent for the first half, came close to reaching the 1 million mark during the first 6 months with 996,700 arrivals. Asia, excluding Japan, is comparatively less affected in these revised forecasts. (Source: TTGTravelHub.Net,  29/8/02)

Australia retains top rank in US travel survey A US poll has rated Australia the number one destination for American travellers for the sixth year in a row. The Harris Poll survey published in The Wall Street Journal asked respondents: "If you could spend a vacation in any country in the world, and you would not have to worry about the costs, what one country would you choose?" Australia was rated first, ahead of the UK, Canada, Ireland, France and Germany. The journal also reported that the September 11 terrorist attacks appeared to have changed Americans' foreign vacation preferences - showing a bias towards English-speaking countries closer to home. (Source: www.travelbiz.com.au, 23/8/02)

REGIONAL

Fiji tourism rebounds Fiji's tourism industry is expecting to earn FJ$500 million (US$228.75 million) in foreign earnings this year, up from FJ$400 million (US$183 million) last year. Fiji Hotels Association Chief Executive Olivia Pareti says her organization is working closely with the government to raise the standard of tourism infrastructure.

Ms. Pareti says she expects publicity from recent-held international conferences to help attract more visitors to the country. "In occupancy levels, we're looking at something around 72-73 percent average occupancy at the end of the year," she said. "In 1999, we had average occupancy of 76 percent, and I think that's quite achievable (72-73 percent) with the figures that we have right now." (Source: Pacific Islands Report, 28/08/02)

Cooks prepares for flights by Hawaii's Aloha  Upgrading of Aitutaki airport is expected to be hurried along, with Hawaii's Aloha Airlines possibly beginning flights to Cook Islands before the end of the year. Aitutaki would provide an alternate airport if Rarotonga is closed by bad weather, and allow Aloha to carry less fuel and more passengers on its flights. Chamber of Commerce president Ewan Smith said an announcement regarding a proposed schedule by Aloha is expected from the airline. However, he adds that this would depend on getting an alternate airport.

It is expected that the Hawaiian-based airline will fly into Rarotonga at least twice a week. It would provide a major boost to Cook Islands tourism, following the losses suffered after Canada 3000 ceased operation. Aloha is one of Hawai'i's two main airlines. As well as its American services it already flies to such Pacific Islands destinations as Christmas island in Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 21/8/02) PNG Tourism Promotion Authority launches new logo

The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority has embarked on a new promotional drive for PNG through the launching of its new corporate logo, "Papua New Guinea Experience". The logo carries the Bird of Paradise, derived from the national symbol of PNG, blue representing the pristine waters of PNG, with focus on the marine diversity, coconut palm representing the tropical island and rainbow colours to project PNG as an attractive island paradise. The slogan is to emphasise that you have to come and experience PNG in order to feel the difference. It replaces the old image known as "Paradise Live". (Source PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, 24/8/02)

Agreement signed to maintain Paris-Pape‘ete air route The government of French Polynesia, Nouvelles Frontières (owner of Corsair) and Air Tahiti Nui have reached an agreement maintaining air traffic to and from French Polynesia provided by Corsair. Nouvelles Frontières has reaffirmed its determination to continue to develop the tourism industry in French Polynesia. It will continue to promote and sell the destination and will also carry on with its investments, including the Paladien Hotel which will be inaugurated in Bora Bora in the spring of 2003. A second hotel will also open towards the end of the year in Rangiroa and other hotel construction projects are under study in Moorea, Huahine and Tahiti. 

If Corsair cancels the Paris-Pape‘ete route, the situation would become quite difficult in French Polynesia, as approximately 25,000 tourists and 8,000 Polynesians fly on Corsair a year. The government will financially support Corsair's air traffic from and to French Polynesia until March 31, 2003. A long-term trade agreement between Nouvelles Frontières and Air Tahiti Nui will then guarantee the continuance of the route on Air Tahiti Nui. (Source: Pacific Islands Report, 8/02)

Fiji airports getting upgrade before games  Airports Fiji Limited will do extension work at Nadi International Airport and Suva's Nausori airport before next year's South Pacific Games in Suva. The work at Nausori will include extension of the terminal building. Chief Executive Jone Koroitamana said there will be F$43 million in next year's budget to cover improvements at Nadi, Nausori and island airports. Nadi is the country's tourism hub and main international airport but Suva also has international flights to and from Auckland and Sydney and regional flights to and from Tonga and Tuvalu. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 21/8/02) 

OTHER NEWS

Fiji Regatta attracts record entries Fiji's annual regatta week at Musket Cove Resort and yacht club September 6-14 has attracted a record number of 67 entries with another 45 signed for the annual race to Port Vila, starting September 14. Musket Cove, in Mamanuca Islands, has become the sailing hub of the South Pacific. It is a very South Seas-style resort of 32 bures (Fiji-style bungalows) 16 villas, a marina and one of the South Pacific's safest anchorages. Its regatta week has been a Fiji fixture for over 20 years and attracts international as well as local entries. Regatta week includes the 16-kilometre Pirate's Day race to nearby Beachcomber Island, the 19-kilometre Round Malolo race, the Orams Marine trophy race and a Hobie Cat challenge. Regatta entry is free. The annual race to Port Vila ends with a regatta on Port Vila Harbour and Efate Island. Race entry fees are F$120 per yacht and there are no crew fees. For further information email: josephine@musketcovefiji.com (Source: Musket Cove Resort, 20/8/02)

Tahitian Princess includes Cook Islands in planned cruises  Rarotonga, Cook Islands, is expected to feature as a regular port of call in proposed cruise ship itineraries announced by P & O Cruises. The 'Tahitian Princess' will begin sailing year-round Pacific itineraries from her home port of Papeete, with 34 trips being offered next year. Cruises are also scheduled to include packages to Samoa and the Marquesas islands of French Polynesia. Passengers will fly into Papeete, French Polynesia, to join the cruises. The 'Pacific Princess' will spend half the year sailing from French Polynesia, and the other half sailing around the South Pacific, offering cruises to Australians from Sydney. (Source: PINA Nius Online, 23/8/02)

Outrigger Reef Fiji announces key appointment  Paul Hughes, former Senior Executive Manager and Hotel General Manager of the Ayers Rock Resort in Australia's central heart has swapped the red ochre tones for the turquoise waters of Fiji following his appointment to manage the luxurious 207 room, 47 bure Outrigger Reef Fiji. Mr Hughes has worked in the tourism and hospitality industry for more than sixteen years and brings to the resort an extensive background in sales and finance disciplines. He has worked in senior positions at a number of world-class Australian destinations. Mr. Hughes' appointment to manage the Outrigger Reef Fiji is viewed as an important step for Outrigger as it continues to grow in popularity since opening in late 2000. (Source: Outrigger Reef Fiji, 29/8/02)

Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel ready for business After being closed for two months, Moana Sands is looking better than ever with renovations. To emphasise its location on the pearly white sands of picturesque Titikaveka beach, the hotel has been renamed Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel. All the 12 existing Beachfront Superior Rooms have been refurbished. Self-contained with a small kitchenette all are now air-conditioned and have IDD phones. 

The hotel now houses 5 new superb Beachfront Suites. These spacious rooms are larger, have a contemporary decor with spectacular views of the sparkling blue lagoon, reef and vast Pacific Ocean beyond, stylish accommodation particularly suited to couples and honeymooners. A completely new architecturally designed building has taken pride of place at the front of Moana Sands offering a stylish, spacious foyer and a new, purpose built Front Desk. For further information email beach@moanasands.co.ck (Source: Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel, 16/8/02) 

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 info@spto.org 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: info@spto.org  Visit South Pacific Islands at www.spto.org  SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS  DISCOVER PARADISE!!

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