November 2006

The Travel Bug - Issue 21

Upbeat at Vanuatu Tok Tok event

Clouds from Cyclone Xavier may have been hovering over Vanuatu Tok Tok that wrapped up in Port Vila at the weekend, but it was blue skies on the horizon for sellers and buyers alike at this year’s most upbeat event ever. Thirty-four buyer groups from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, the UK, USA, Japan and for the first time ever Europe and Thailand, together with over sixty supplier companies, heard predictions of a 5-per cent increase in air arrivals in the coming year and twenty per cent on cruise ships, Qantas announcing it was seeking a 33 per cent increase in seat capacity from Australia, Solomon Airlines confirming twice-weekly direct Brisbane-Santo services from later this year, and Air New Zealand celebrating the addition of its own equipment to Vila from yesterday (October 29) as well as continuing code-share from Auckland with Air Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Tourism Minister, James Bule and Vanuatu Tourism Office’s General Manager, Linda Kalpoi predicted five per cent increases in 2007 over this year’s 62,364 arrivals by air, and a twenty per cent increase in 2007 over the 63,554 who arrived by sea this year. “Visitors are worth over AU$100m to our economy, or about 40% of our GDP,” Mrs Kalpoi said. “With Australia alone accounting for 64 per cent of tourists.” (Source: Vanuatu Tourism Tribal Drum Newsletter September/October 2006)

Sydney Adventure and Travel Show

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau would like to invite operators for the Sydney Adventures in Travel Expo from the 24-26 November 2006 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center. SIVB will assist operators in coordinating Airfares with Solomon Airlines special concessions. Operators will be responsible for their own daily expenses of accommodation, transport, and meals while in Australia.

The Sydney Adventure and Travel Show is fully targeted for the adventure market in Australia. Solomon Airlines has given FOC tickets to participating operators. SIVB and Solomon Airlines wish to take this time to travel with the Operators with the assurance that Solomon Islands is a peaceful country with 90% are other islands other than Honiara people can also go to. (Source: Solomon Islands Tourism On-line News 30/10/2006)

PNG Dive Shines at Antibes Festival

PNG has been a preferred destination for European underwater photographers for well over a decade. Award-winning photographer Lionel Pozzoli first brought PNG to the Antibes festival (French Riviera) in 1992 and his work was met with immediate acclaim and awards. In 1993 Pozzoli again featured work from PNG and again won awards. PNG opened a whole new world for underwater photographers. Acccording to Pozzoli, PNG's waters are diverse and for underwater photographers each region holds something different. But it is the clarity of the waters of PNG that allows for the intense light and vibrancy in photographs that sets the country apart from other destinations in the world. According to Pozzoli the future of underwater photography is in three dimensions, with huge 180 degree screens allowing for slideshows which will virtually recreate the underwater experience.

In terms of tourism, what was achieved at the 33rd Festival Mondial de l'image Sous-marine in Antibes in the South of France must be seen as the equivalent of Ryan Pini's gold-medal winning performance for Papua New Guinea. Peter Vincent, CEO of the Tourism Promotion Authority said that Papua New Guinea continues to create interest in niche markets around the world. He said that the TPA will continue to support industry initiatives such as that of the PNG Divers Association in the European market. "The PNGDA must be applauded for their initiative. With tourist numbers in PNG up by 13% on 2005, the trend will continue so long as industry bodies continue to work together in exploring new marketing opportunities" he said. (Source: PNGTPA Monthly Newsletter Issue 28 – October 2006)

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