A former scholar of the Auckland University of Technology (NZ), Pio holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing from the Business School of the South Pacific in New Caledonia and is a fellow of the East West Center at the University of Hawaii (USA). Throughout his career, he has undertaken numerous training and study programs in human resources, marketing & tourism management, government diplomacy and international affairs in Australia, China, Taiwan and the USA.
With this background, Mr. Pio will lead the SSS team in operational and commercial management, especially drawing on his experience working with international corporations and domestic and foreign government agencies and leading and mentoring high-performance teams.
“I am thrilled to be joining South Sea Shipping,” says Mr. Pio. “We are a critical part of Vanuatu’s tourism and transportation infrastructure, and we will be making a strong contribution to the recovery of the country’s economy.”
While cruise activities have been temporarily suspended in the South Pacific and other parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting closure of borders, the South Sea Group of Companies including South Sea Cargo has expanded and now offers sea freight services throughout Vanuatu’s six provinces and is now planning to induct a new 1,170ton cargo vessel from Asia, which will support Containerized Logistics throughout Vanuatu.
“We feel driven as a group to invest in improving connectivity and marketability to our unique and wonderful Island Nation and Paul brings a level of excitement and experience which intimately aligns to our goal. We are also investing in our employees and infrastructure development to respond to the needs of the Nation, particularly in the outer islands, in a timely and reliable manner,” says Mr. Tonner.
Mr Pio is the Secretary of the Air Transportation & Tourism Taskforce (AT3), which was endorsed by the Vanuatu Council of Ministers in July 2020 to be the coordinating agency that will lead all efforts towards the Vanuatu TAMTAM Bubble.
“I am very excited about this new opportunity. I hope that together we can grow our domestic connectivity and be ready to re-introduce Vanuatu as a world-class tourism destination by restarting our national cruise business and on-shore activities when the time is right,” he says.
Mr Pio has taken over the role as of the 12th of October 2020.