21 Oct 2013

Pacific tourism strategy endorsed by member countries

2:52 pm on 21 October 2013

Pacific tourism officials who met in Samoa to endorse a five-year tourism strategy for the region say they will focus on improving access to smaller islands and attract more visitors from Europe, America and China.

Visitor arrivals to the South Pacific have grown by 50 percent in the last 10 years, from about one million in 2002 to more than 1.5 million in 2012.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation's CEO, Ilisoni Vuidreketi, says while he is pleased with the growth, the region has not capitalised on it enough.

He says the region needs to use its climate, friendly people and natural resources to get more visitors, and improve access to remote areas, attract more private investment and develop local products.

"It does offer good potential for us to create employment activities, create income generating activities and also our foreign exchange earnings. We are also looking at how we can enhance private sector investment in this sector so that in partnership with the local communities we are able to stimulate economic activities."

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation's CEO, Ilisoni Vuidreketi.