25. November 2005

The Travel Bug - Issue 7

P&O 2006 Growth in Ship Visits to Vanuatu

Consistent with the growing demand for Vanuatu experiences, P&O have announced 55 ship visits to Port Vila in 2006 by its Pacific fleet which include Princess, Star and Sun. Vanuatu continues to be rated as the most sought after cruising experiences in surveys being conducted by the Shipping company of its passengers. In addition to the visits to Port Vila, many of the ships also visit Luganville, the capital of Espiritu Santo, Mystery Island and other stops through the northern islands such as Pentecost. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years with Ship visits providing a consistent mode of access to many of the more remote outer island experiences. (Source: The Tribal Drum October 2005)

Pacific Blue Airline Now Flies to Tonga

As the police band played to welcome disembarking passengers, not even the rain could dampen the enthusiasm of all present at Fua’amotu Airport for the arrival of Pacific Blue to Tonga on Monday 31st October 2005. A charity auction held onboard the inaugural flight raised approximately $750 and was donated by Pacific Blue to Tonga’s Girl Guides Association. The girls performed a number of dances in return, as part of the celebrations at the airport.

The airline’s arrival was celebrated by His Majesty, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, Acting Prime Minister, Acting Minister of Civil Aviation and Minister of Tourism, Hon James Cecil Cocker, Pacific Blue Chief Executive Officer Tony Marks, and other Pacific Blue representatives and distinguished members of the Tongan Tourism Industry. In his welcoming speech, Hon James Cecil Cocker said the arrival of Pacific Blue was a jubilant occasion. He said “This has been a dream of the Tourism and Travel Industry for a very long time. The Tongan people… have long yearned for a carrier that will provide affordable fares to see their loved ones in Tonga, Sydney and Auckland. On their behalf, I thank and congratulate Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue for a very thoughtful and remarkable reform in the travel industry.”

Tony Marks, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Blue, promised that the new low cost carrier would deliver through its high service standards and committed staff, an increase of visitors to Tonga over the coming year. At a later press conference and cocktail reception held by Pacific Blue at the International Dateline Hotel, he commented on a ‘coincidental’ thirty percent drop in fares by competitor Air New Zealand. Tony Marks said “we are totally convinced that Tonga will benefit enormously from fares going down and frequency going up because competition always has magic economic effects.” He added that he had no doubt Pacific Blue’s arrival to Tonga would be a great commercial success for all involved. (Source: Tonga Visitors Bureau News 01/11/2005)

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