China Pacific Tourism Year Initiative gains momentum

Chinese delegation with members of the SPTO team and Professor Stephen Pratt (Head of School, USP School of Tourism & Hospitality)

A delegation from the China Tourism Academy visited Vanuatu, Tonga and Fiji last week. The delegation headed by Mr. Dai Bin was focused on tourism exchange and cooperation between China and the Pacific and gathering the necessary information to develop an outbound market research for the Chinese market in the Pacific.

The visit is one of the activities of the China Pacific Tourism Year (CPTY) initiative, “The China Pacific Tourism Year was officially announced by President Xi Jinping when he met Pacific Leaders at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Port Moresby in Nov, 2018 and was officially launched in Apia, Samoa, on 1st April of 2019.

The visit is one of the activities of the China Pacific Tourism Year (CPTY) initiative, “The CPTY is the culmination of activities and events that resulted from SPTO’s attendance at the 2017 High-Level Dialogue on the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, China,” said SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker.

During their visit the delegation met with key economic and tourism stakeholders to share their views and experiences of tourism. They were also interested in the current development of tourism industry, investment opportunities and visitor market trends in these three countries.

“This year SPTO is working with the Peoples Republic of China’s Ministry of Culture & Tourism and key partners in China to establish a shared focus for the year that reflects the priorities and interest of China and the Pacific Islands. As the regional organisation for tourism marketing and development, SPTO is focused on developing emerging markets outside the Pacific’s main source markets of Australia and New Zealand. These markets includes the Peoples’ Republic of China and we are very appreciative of the projects and opportunities that they have initiated and fully funded” said Mr. Cocker.

Mr. Cocker said SPTO and its members have undertaken a range of activities to mark the CPTY, “It is a unique opportunity and will contribute to strengthening the visibility of Fiji and Pacific Island destinations, culture and people in China and sustainably developing tourism products suitable for niche markets in China. At the same time it will raise awareness for SPTO’s 20 Pacific Island countries on being “China Ready.”

In June, a delegation of staff from Pacific National Tourism Offices and the South Pacific Tourism Organization attended a Tourism Human Resource Development and Training Program in   Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

A growing number of Pacific countries, including SPTO members are exploring the Chinese outbound market as a potential source market to offset the decline of visitor arrivals from traditional source markets, such as Australia. In contrast China’s market share rose dramatically to 7% in 2017 from only 3% in 2013.

About SPTO

Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 20 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna and the People’s Republic of China. In addition to government members, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation enlists a private sector membership base.

For more information, contact:

Alisi Lutu, Marketing Manager
South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
Email: or +679 3304177

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