As the Meet the Pacific ended this week, a major highlight for the South Pacific Tourism Organisation was the launch of the Pacific Promotion Program for Trade, Investment & Tourism (PPTT) in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday 13th March.
The launch was attended by 70 leading tourism and trade leaders from Korea and the Pacific. National Tourism Offices from the Pacific and the tourism sector in the region who were at the Meet the Pacific also attended the launch along with the diplomatic corps from Pacific countries. Officially representing the launch from SPTO was the Chair Lady, Ms Sonja Hunter and the CEO, Mr. Christopher Cocker.
Vice Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Hon. Mr. Lee Tae-ho delivered welcoming remarks at the ceremony. Vice Minister Lee acknowledged the history the Republic of Korea and the Pacific shared and noted the government’s commitment to working with Pacific countries for sustainable socio-economic development.
Vice Minister Lee said the PPTT agreement was timely and would see increased cooperation in many areas within the trade and tourism industry. The PPTT agreement between the Korean Government and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat was signed in October 2018 during the Korea-Pacific Island Countries Senior Officials meeting.
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation Chairperson Sonja Hunter said the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea to contribute to the tourism sector to promote exchanges with the Pacific region was timely.
“The people of the Pacific Islands have a strong link to Korea due to the influence of K-POP and Korean Wave drama,” said Ms. Hunter. “We are confident that the PPTT may contribute to increase in exchanges, not only between governments but among the private sector. We also hope that more air links and promotional activities would take place through continued support from the Korean government in the tourism sector.”
The PPTT will promote trade, investment and tourism between Korea and Pacific Island Countries in terms of job creation, economic development, including trade fairs, trade missions and market promotion. PPTT funding provides USD $1,000,000 over 2019-2020 for Trade and Tourism facilitation, of this Tourism is allocated USD $500,000 for the 2 years. This will be managed by SPTO and implemented by SPTO Tourism Representative to Korea, Ms Daisy Park.