South Pacific Tourism Organisation Ministers Meeting Underway In Cook Islands

Organization discusses ways to boost visitor numbers to region

By Rashneel Kumar 

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 11, 2016) – The three-day South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Council of Ministers of Tourism and other meetings began yesterday with a robust discussion on the future of the industry in the region.

During the fourth regional marketing meeting yesterday at the Crown Beach Resort, members of the 14 Pacific island countries discussed ways of boosting visitor arrivals in the region.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation director of sales and marketing Karla Eggelton said the meeting was an opportunity for all member countries of SPTO to talk and determine, from a marketing perspective, the future of the region.

She said they discussed key strategic objectives and how they translate into annual operating plans.

“Given the vast diversity in tourism maturity of member island countries, it is no small feat to navigate through the individual needs of each member,” Eggelton said.

“The meeting also presented opportunities for collaboration and it is likely the Cook Islands will partner in this. Cruise and niche marketing in particular.”

The meeting yesterday began with a welcome address from SPTO chief executive officer Chris Cocker followed by a recap of SPTO’s activities of the year from its marketing manager Alisi Lutu.

A presentation on a new SPTO brand which has been developed to market South Pacific tourism globally was also done by representatives from FutureBrand.

The new brand that was endorsed at the meeting will be presented to SPTO’s board of directors and tourism ministers for their final endorsements.

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau chief executive officer Jo Tuamoto also presented a small island states experience in growing tourism through marketing and promotion.

“All recommendations will be presented at the SPTO board meeting (today) and ratified at the Council of Tourism Ministers meeting on Wednesday,” Eggelton said.

“Cook Islands Tourism were very happy with the outcome of the meeting and we look forward to working alongside our island brothers and sisters to achieve our common goals of awareness, exposure, and visitor arrivals to our region.”

The heads of tourism will meet today at The Edgewater Resort and Spa to continue discussions regarding the industry in a board meeting.

Later in the evening, Cook Islands Tourism will host the regional ministers to a welcome function at Tamarind House.

The summit will conclude with the Council of Ministers meeting to be chaired by prime minister and Tourism minister Henry Puna tomorrow.

Cook Islands News
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