PIs focus on sustainable tourism at the South Pacific Tourism Exchange 2017
More than 75 international travel wholesalers and tour operators from 17 countries globally are experiencing a flavor of Pacific arts, culture and the warmth of its people when they converge at the South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) in Sydney, Australia last weekend.
Visitors to the this event are immersed in a Pacific experience that focuses on the importance of sustaining the tourism industry in line with the UNWTO theme for 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IYSTD). This is done through Pacific dances and entertainment, culinary experience of Pacific food and the uniqueness of the Pacific and its preservation for the future, creating a truly Pasifika atmosphere.
Held annually, SPTE presents an opportunity for 68 Pacific tourism and travel operators to showcase their products to international buyers who are the face of the Pacific to the ever-increasing numbers of travellers curious about the Pacific as a destination.
Tourism operators in the region have always considered SPTE as a major event in their annual calendar as it provides them access to international travel and tour operators under the one roof and provides an opportunity to discuss new packages and products that have been introduced. All the 16 Pacific Island country members of SPTO will have booths at the event.
Support for the event has come from major sponsor Bank South Pacific who has partnered successfully with SPTO since 2016. Other Pacific partners supporting the event are the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Nauru Airlines, Papua New Guinea Tourism and Promotions Authority (PNGTPA), Fiji Airways and Pure Fiji among others.
“We are extremely grateful to all our industry partners and stakeholders for their support and we are looking forward to an exciting and rewarding two days of sharing the Pacific experience,” SPTO CEO Chris Cocker said.
“This year, we will also have Miss Pacific Islands, Anne Dunn, with us and we expect that her presence and advocacy work for sustainable tourism will generate more awareness and interest on the uniqueness of the Pacific experience and how we can work together to ensure that this is maintained and sustained for our future generations” Mr. Cocker added.
The event opened with welcome cocktails, where the buyers and sellers experience Pacific hospitality and a welcome typical of what travellers meet when they arrive in the Pacific. This wil be followed by 2 days of intensive exchange, networking and relationship building at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour where the event will be held.
Over the years, SPTO have strategically organized the event right after the Australian Tourism Exchange. This arrangement encourages international travel wholesalers and tour operators attending ATE to also participate in the Pacific event while in Sydney.
Other key activities during the event include the drawing of the name of the winner of the SPTO Sustainable Tourism social media campaign, with a winning 8 nights trip to Fiji up for grabs, and a media event with around 50 international and regional media to be treated to a cocktail hosted sponsored by Fiji Airways.
SPTO is also maximizing the presence of all the member countries at the event by coordinating a meeting of the Board following the conclusion of the event in Sydney.