TOURISM ORGANIZATION LAUNCHES CHINESE WEBSITE

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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 25)—The South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) has announced the launching of a new Internet website to market regional tourism to the Chinese-speaking public.

The website is in Mandarin Chinese and is registered under the domain http://www.spto.cn/. The site has some "200 pages of information and provides a comprehensive overview of the South Pacific with complete profiles on SPTO's 12 Pacific Island member countries", which includes French Polynesia, SPTO reported.

"Potential travelers from China can learn about the culture and history of the region, view an extensive gallery of pictures, browse accommodation and activities options, local travel agents and understand travel requirements to the region."

"Over the course of the last 12 months, we have been seeing more and more Pacific Island nations being granted Approved Destination Status from the People's Republic of China and this now presents a great opportunity for increasing visitor numbers in the region," said Peter Dawkins, Internet and marketing manager for the SPTO.

"Our Chinese website is a first step in raising awareness of the region within China and we are already receiving positive feedback on the site from online Chinese travel portals, such as www.tom.com," Dawkins said.

The site was developed by SPTO's Chinese intern student, Anqi Yin, in collaboration with staff from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat office in Beijing. SPTO and the Forum Secretariat office are based in Suva, Fiji.

China is a country member of SPTO, whose membership also includes the Pacific Island states and territories of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, Solomons, French Polynesia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

July 26, 2006

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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