“The South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) is a great way to gather with other Pacific islands operators and share our passion for tourism”, said Alfred Kalotiti, a sales and marketing representative from one of Vanuatu’s major tour operators, Atmosphere Travel.
Organised by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) since 2014, SPTE is an annual event that brings together international travel partners and regional tourism products and suppliers from the South Pacific under one roof.
Designed as a convenient and cost-effective way for international buyers and South Pacific sellers to meet, this year’s SPTE was held on Australia’s Gold Coast in May 2016. It was attended by 74 Pacific tourism operators and 61 international travel agents.
The next SPTE is scheduled for 19-20 May 2017 in Sydney, immediately after the Australian Tourism Exchange.
Kalotiti made the comment during Tok Tok Vanuatu 2016, the country’s biggest tourism and trade expo held last week from 23-26 August in Port Vila.
Other SPTO private sector members in Vanuatu attending the expo echoed his sentiments. Simone Pritchard, general manager for Adventure in Paradise thanked SPTO for the coordination of SPTE and confirmed attendance at next year’s event.
Several Vanuatu based members also commended SPTO for the tourism development and marketing services that the organisation provides to their businesses on an ongoing basis throughout the region.
The scheme is tailored to provide tourism industry operators support with marketing and research as well as SME, human resource and sustainable tourism development.
During Tok Tok Vanuatu, the organisation hosted a morning tea attended by local and international tourism partners, at which SPTO’s chief executive officer Chris Cocker spoke about the role and mission of the South Pacific region’s peak tourism development body.
Organised by the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) with assistance from the tourism industry, Tok Tok Vanuatu is held every year.
“We congratulate VTO on another successful TokTok event this year. It was productive for SPTO and I am sure the rest of the participants who travelled far and wide to learn, experience and discover what matters on Vanuatu” said SPTO Chief Executive Chris Cocker.
The country’s most valuable tourism event, it brings in wholesalers from short and long haul markets and gives them the opportunity to meet the local industry and experience the diversity of Vanuatu’s 83 islands.
This year, the event hosted more than 60 local Vanuatu tourism operators, including hoteliers, inbound operators, tour operators, cruise companies, airlines, car rental companies as well as 46 overseas travel agents, who specifically requested to meet and share tourism information with each other on a scheduled appointment basis.
Tok Tok Vanuatu 2016 attracted considerable coverage in mainstream media and on social media channels.
Based in Suva, SPTO works with 16 Pacific island countries to market and develop tourism in South Pacific region.