Over the past two weeks SPTO has had the privilege of hosting Ms. Marion Kuaola, the Assistant Tourism Manager at the Economic Affairs and Development Department in Wallis and Futuna. This follows a scoping visit by the SPTO Management team to the French Territory of Wallis & Futuna in July. Wallis & Futuna joined SPTO’s membership in October 2018.
SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker said the organization is delighted to host Ms. Kuaola, “As you know in July we visited Wallis & Futuna and were impressed with what we have discovered and the current administrative structures in place that will help build the industry and Wallis & Futuna as a tourism destination.”
“Having Marion work with SPTO staff these past two weeks will hopefully help Wallis & Futuna sustainably increase visitor arrivals which is currently 100 a year. The industry leaders made an important decision to gradually introduce Wallis and Futuna as a destination market and this is one of the ways we can assist them,” said Mr. Cocker
Ms. Kuaola said her trip enabled her to get a better understanding of how SPTO operates in the region, “We will also be able to learn about the advantages we can have as a member country and especially how the SPTO will be able to help us in this new tourism development project in Wallis and Futuna.”
“During my mission, I have the opportunity to work with the various departments of the organization: the finance department, the marketing department, the sustainable tourism development department and the research & statistics department. My program, organised by SPTO, allowed me to spend 2 days in each department.
In addition, this mission will also allow me to strengthen my skills in terms of exchanges and communication in English,” said Ms Kuaola.
She said Wallis and Futuna is an unknown destination and improving its visibility is one of the main actions to be implemented quickly, “As such, the marketing department of SPTO is a key asset for the launch of the destination promotion campaign. SPTO is our Pacific tourism leader, and we need to take advantage of our territory’s membership.”
Ms. Kuaola said SPTO concentrates many destinations with many different cultures, “And it is essential in my opinion to know how to preserve the authenticity of each culture because difference makes wealth.”
The SPTO Management team’s scoping visit to the French Territory of Wallis and Futuna in July was at the invitation of the Chamber of Commerce (CCIMA of Wallis & Futuna). During their visit the SPTO team visited potential private sector members, scoped tourist attractions and facilities conducted training and provided information on the services provides for member countries.