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Page: Travel Bug 14 - April 2006 Vanuatu travel news

The Travel Bug 14

Issue 14 - April 2006

Reel in the Vanuatu Marlin Classic in June 2006

The organizing committee of the Vanuatu Marlin Classic has announced important dates for the 2006 event. With over $60,000 AUD awarded in the 2005 event, this become largest sports event in Vanuatu and 2006 looks to grow even further. (Source: Vanuatu Tourism Tribal Drum February – March 2006)

PATA Takes Charge of ‘Profit in the Pacific’

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will organise and manage PROFIT in the Pacific 2006 in Vanuatu. PROFIT in the Pacific 2006 has received the support of ProInvest-CDE, a programme of the European Union that promotes investment in the Pacific. To take place at the Le Lagon Resort, Pt. Vila, November 29-December 1, PROFIT in the Pacific 2006 will feature one-to-one meetings between tourism operators and those interested in exploring opportunities in the Pacific. The event will also feature a conference programme addressing the most significant issues affecting tourism growth in the Pacific, including co-operation, branding, sustainability, access and competitiveness. PATA is the lead organiser in a partnership that includes the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations (FITYO), the Fiji Visitors Bureau, the Kiribati Visitors Bureau, the Palau Visitors Authority, the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority, and the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). The event is also supported by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO). (Source: Travel Wire News 15/03/2006)

VTO at the House of Travel Expo

In mid February the Vanuatu Tourism Office participated in the House of Travel Expo. The Expo, in roadshow format, visited numerous locations on the north island over the week event. The venues were at Palmerston North, Napier, Rotorua, Hamilton and Whangarei. The Vanuatu booth was extremely well received and positive feedback was received from many past visitors to the destination. There was a wide spectrum of inquiry as interest is generally growing in New Zealand. Enquiries included questions addressing accommodation and activities to do whilst in Vanuatu, general information for Institution projects & assignments, couple & family resorts, diving & snorkelling inquiries, vatu currency, Vanuatu location, what makes Vanuatu a unique holiday destination, adventure tours & activities, security & safety, backpackers, cruises to Vanuatu inquiry, cultural tours & festivals, game fishing, dining and cuisine.

The show was attended by Alcina Garae (pictured below) from the VTO office in Port Vila. This was Alcina's first show attendance and part of the VTO's focus on having Vanuatu based staff participate in off shore promotional activities. Vanuatu information materials given to consumers included the Vanuatu Visitors Guide 2006, Jasons Vanuatu booklet and map 2006, Vanuatu Rocket Guide CD Rom 2005-2006 which clearly was the most preferred by majority of the consumers, VTOA Activity brochures, and the VTO website was referred to for more information. (Source: Vanuatu Tourism Tribal Drum February – March 2006)

South Pacific Village Wins 3rd Best Exhibition Stand at ITB’s Australia/Oceania Region

The South Pacific Village was awarded the 3rd Best Exhibition Stand in the Australia/Oceania region at the 40th Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) last week, held in Berlin, Germany. The ITB is an international Tourism Exhibition, which brings together global tourism operators to showcase their products and services on an annual basis in Germany. This year over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries and regions participated at this exciting event. Present at the show were a full range of tourism agencies including tour operators, travel destinations, airlines, booking systems, hotels and rental car companies. A joint approach by the South Pacific region to emphasise their presence at ITB was made possible through the ‘South Pacific Village’ that housed Fiji, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) represented the smaller Pacific island countries, which were unable to attend the Show.

In addition to the seven SPTO member countries present at ITB, 35 private sector members were also in attendance with a delegation of 43 in total. Mr. Lisiate Akolo, SPTO’s CEO and Mr. Andrew Nihopara, SPTO’s Marketing Coordinator were part of the delegation from the Pacific to ITB this year. “ITB 2006 was very successful for all the South Pacific delegates. The South Pacific village this year provided a stronger presence of the pacific island countries at ITB. The opportunity for Pacific island countries to engage with potential partners and showcase their respective tourism assets was tremendous this year due to the large public attendance at the show. SPTO member countries and their private sector partners are now already looking forward to ITB 2007. SPTO hopes to have an even bigger presence in the next ITB with more of its country members represented”, said Mr. Akolo. A total of 68,270 members of the public were registered at this event in the Exhibition Halls, a 17 per cent rise compared from the previous year. There were 10,856 exhibiting companies, which is 4.3 per cent increase from the previous year, and moreover, despite the ice and snow, a total of 162,823 visitors was recorded, a 14.5 per cent increase (2005: 142.351).

Mr Nihopara, who coordinated the Pacific delegation to the show, thanked the SPTO Europe Representatives Interface International GmbH for their assistance. 'They did a tremendous job in making all the ground arrangements for the Pacific Village and having their staff present at all times during ITB, assisting the countries in any way possible’, he said. 'We have started planning for ITB 2007 straight after the 2006 show as we have got a lot of interest from members who were unable to attend, so we are aiming for a bigger and better representation next year as well’, he added. SPTO also hosted a cocktail at the Village on Saturday 11th March 06, which was attended by key German wholesalers, travel agents and officials from Berlin which was a good networking opportunity for the South Pacific delegates with key industry players. The Fiji Ambassador to Germany was also present at the Cocktail.

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