Pacific destinations will have a prominent representation at the 2019 China International Travel Mart (CITM) that will be held at the Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Kunming from 15-17 November. Ten Pacific island countries including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga and Vanuatu will participate in the travel mart.
“Attendance at the show over the years is a testament to the value of this event to the buyers and sellers as it brings together multiple destinations under one roof,’’ Mr. Cocker said. “It provides a wonderful cost effective opportunity for buyers to renew old bonds and forge new ones during the two-day event,” Mr. Cocker said. “The continued Pacific presence at CITM is so important as Chinese arrivals to PICs in the last five years grew by an average of 13.3% (peaking from 2014-2015) and showed a downward trend in 2018 but is forecasted to increase to destinations such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tahiti. “The decline in top destinations such as Palau has not impacted on the positive outlook for 2019 with Chinese arrivals expected to increase by 4%,’’ Mr. Cocker said.
An important highlight at CITM 2019 will be the official closing of the China Pacific Tourism Year 2019 that was announced by HE President Xi Jinping in PNG in 2018 and launched in Apia, earlier this year by the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa the Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and the Hon Minister for Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China Luo Shugang. The Hon. Sala Fata Pinati, Minister of Tourism of Samoa, will head the high-level Pacific delegation and will deliver a speech on behalf of the Pacific delegation at the official closing of CPTY 2019.
Furthermore, a team of performers from the Oceania Centre for Arts Culture and the Pacific from the University of the South Pacific (USP) will also be travelling to Kunming, where they will be performing at the official closing of the CPTY 2019 that coincides with the opening ceremony of CITM. The team who will be led by Igelese Ete, USP’s Head of Performing Arts, will perform several items throughout the 3 day event and will include the likes of Jedidiah Tuinasavusavu who was the 2018 winner of “Vocal Battle” which is aired on Fiji One.
The CITM trade show attracts buyers and sellers from all over the world and is an annual event held alternatively in Shanghai and Kunming. The SPTO team will be representing member countries who will not be attending the show. The Pacific participation at the CITM has been funded by the People’s Republic of China with on the ground support by its Ministry of Culture and Tourism as well as the CITM organisers.