Destination Gold Coast for South Pacific Tourism Exchange 2016

The SeaWorld resort convention centre, Gold Coast Australia is next year’s host of the South Pacific Tourism Exchange.

SPTE organisers, the South Pacific Tourism Organization’s (SPTO) Chief Executive Ratu Ilisoni Vuidreketi said the popular tourist destination was chosen due to the request and feedback from private sector members in the Pacific region.

It’s the third year for the event to be held and coincides with other major events such as the Australian Tourism Exchange that will take place a week prior.

“The benefits of this is that we have whole sellers, buyers, on the long haul market of UK, Europe, USA and other parts if the world - they will be coming to the Australian Tourism Exchange and we are able to then fit ourselves in to ensure that these wholesellers are also able to come and be part of the SPTE,” said Vuidreketi.

“Ultimately we see the benefits of going to the private sector, the sellers from the region. So it is a win - win event for us.”

SPTO has secured about 80-100 of the buyers from the long haul market, and hopes to maintain the number this year.

One of the main lessons from past events according to SPTO was that there was a need to provide actual information on the diverse magnetisms of the Pacific countries.

“Some buyers come and see all the countries as the same, not understanding that different countries have different key selling features,” he said.

“Countries need to go there and sell themselves and the destinations according to the unique characteristics, the unique selling features that will appeal to tourists from the long haul market as sometimes these are not readily available or not distributed as one would want – especially for tourists and the buyers.”

SPTO is working with other agencies like the airlines to ensure the event and processes are coordinated and that the visiting tourists get the best of the destination