A delegation of staff from Pacific National Tourism Offices, tourism private sector and the South Pacific Tourism Organization were in Guangzhou China, from 24th June to 4th July to attend the 1st Tourism Human Resource Development and Training Program, an activity which is part of the China Pacific Tourism Year under the China Belt & Road initiative.
Delegates from SPTO member countries- Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu participated in field visits, exchanging views with their counterparts in China and attended sessions on tourism development.
SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker was also part of the delegation, “We are grateful to the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province and the Jinan University for this great opportunity. It has broadened the participants’ understanding of China and its outbound tourism that relates to our countries who are trying to promote and manage Chinese tourism into the Pacific,” said Mr. Cocker.
A growing number of Pacific countries are exploring the Chinese outbound market as a potential source market. As the region’s fastest growing emerging market, China arrivals registered an average growth of 13% over the last years since 2015, although growth has slowed recently. In 2018, the Pacific Islands received 124,939 Chinese visitors made up 6 % of the overall 2.1 million air visitors to the region.
SPTO Board Member from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Program Manager of the FSM Division of Tourism, Bermance Aldis said the training provided insightful information of the Chinese outbound tourist with greater understanding of potential tourism segments, “Especially how FSM can attract them and at the same time, how to better manage Chinese tourists coming into our four-island states.”
Paul Pio, Manager Marketing & Communications at Air Vanuatu attended the training and commended the organisers, “The China Pacific Island Countries Tourism Human Resource Training Program 2019 was an excellent platform for industry professionals to deepen their understanding of the Outbound Chinese market. We were fortunate to learn and share our own experiences with highly respected Chinese tourism and business stakeholders and the opportunity to further grow the Chinese market in the South Pacific is definitely possible by providing the right connectivity and frequency.”
The training was organized by the Jinan University (JNU) as part of the 2019 China Pacific Tourism Year (CPTY). It was funded and hosted by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism (MOCT) in cooperation with the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province. The CPTY is a joint initiative between SPTO, its member countries and the Peoples’ Republic of China and is the outcome of the announcement by President Xi Jinping during the Pacific Leaders’ meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting last November in Papua New Guinea.
The CPTY builds on the work SPTO has been working on through partnership with the Republic of China’s Ministry of Culture & Tourism to promote better understanding of China amongst our Pacific Island member countries and also raising the visibility of the Pacific Islands brand in China.
“The theme of people to people connectivity relates well to building relationships with the People’s Republic of China that will benefit our Pacific people. And we are grateful that through this platform, the first training on Human Resource Development for PICs held here at the prestigious Jinan University has been successfully completed,” said Mr. Cocker.