Pacific Scoop

Pacific Islands committed to developing Cruise Ship tourism

Press Release – South Pacific Tourism Organisation

Pacific Islands committed to developing the Regional Cruise Ship Tourism SectorCruise ship tourism in the Pacific region is increasing steadily and in 2018 was the source of one million visitors to South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) member countries. This is an increase of 21% percent from 5 years ago.

Developing this sector is a strategic priority for SPTO says Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocker, “Cruise visitors are able to experience diverse cultures and new destinations in a short time span. The sector contributes significantly to the economies of Pacific island countries.”

“For our rural Pacific communities, cruise ship tourism is a major source of income. The cruise ship companies have and continue to provide employment opportunities for graduates of trade colleges in the region,” said Mr. Cocker.

SPTO’s Pacific Cruise Tourism Development Strategy (PCTDS) for 2015-2019 guides its role in coordinating the region’s cruise development efforts, assisting member countries with their cruise capabilities and readiness and fostering close links between members and the cruise industry.

Participating in this week’s annual Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami, USA from the 8th to 11th April, is one of the ways SPTO fosters close links between members and the cruise industry. Seatrade is one of the world’s largest cruise travel shows with 130 countries represented and up to 10,000 participants, the majority of whom are buyers looking for business and partnership opportunities.

“Seatrade is a platform where we promote the Pacific as a destination to visit. Seven Pacific countries were represented at Sea Trade, while they promoted their countries individually; they also collaborated as members of the South Pacific Cruise Alliance (SPCA),” Mr. Cocker said.
Countries represented at Sea Trade are; American Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Pitcairn Island, Tahiti, Tonga and Samoa. While the cruise ship tourism sector has been in the region for more than 30 decades, the Pacific Islands are still relatively emerging players in the global Cruise industry.

Mr. Cocker said SPTO and members will continue to working with members towards sustainably developing the cruise ship industry with the goal of increasing cruise ship traffic to Pacific countries and also increasing employment opportunities for Pacific Islanders in the cruise ship industry.

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