Encourage clients to book their Cook Islands’ holidays well in advance.
Bernard Garo of Ginger Beach Retreat is one of a growing number of operators embracing Solomon Islands’ tourism potential. Recently sponsored to Fiji to expand his tourism knowledge, he’s focused on ecologically sound, integrated and community-based tourism. A member of the nation’s tourism board, he’s also behind the Tandai Tourism Association, a group of 35 operators in the region of Tandai, half an hour’s drive west of Honiara. The association’s activity offerings include the Visale Mountain hike; bird watching; visiting Savo Volcano, WWII relics in the bush (or at nearby Vilu Open Air War Museum), and Poha Cave where historical drawings of past inhabitants can be found. Opened in March last year, Ginger Beach Retreat’s three bungalows are built on stilts and sleep nine (three in each bungalow). They come with king size bed with canopy and one single bed, full ensuite, private balcony and complimentary non-alcoholic drinks. The resort has been a hit with local expats for weekend breaks and for NGO meetings in the restaurant/bar/ conference room. It’s had encouraging feedback from regular groups of cruise passengers who come for lunch, cultural performance and beach time. A group of Australian wholesalers and media enjoyed a taste of this experience when they visited for a site inspection following the Si Save Solo travel mart recently. The traditional welcome, motocooked lunch, weaving demonstrations and cultural performance involved people from the neighbouring village, and a troupe of pan-pipers from Malaita province who were in Honiara for the 2018 Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival (MACFest). Seven more bungalows are planned (four are currently under construction) along with Solomon Islands’ first wedding chapel.
More than 30 buyers from Australia, Japan, Taiwan and the US attended the Mi Save Solo Solomon Islands tourism exchange yesterday at Honiara’s Coral Sea Resort & Casino.
A new brand, a new logo and a new name for the Solomon Islands’ national tourism organisation was launched in Honiara last night.
The winners of the 2017/18 Bred Bank Vanuatu Tourism Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Vanuatu National Convention Centre last Saturday, which recognised the efforts of over 50 tourism businesses across all sectors and provinces of Vanuatu.
The first Tonga trade update ‘for many years’ has come with a call for the Tongan Government to focus on getting in front of its core markets – New Zealand and Australia.
Fiji’s Malamala Beach Club has launched ‘Sunsets and Seafood dining, beginning Friday 29 June. It will be available on Friday nights until 26 October 2018, from 5.15pm. Guests can start with cocktails and a round of canapes and experience the Fiji sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The culinary team led by Executive Chef Lance Seeto will be cooking a fresh seafood and meat selection on the open grill, along with a buffet of sides dishes to select from. A dessert station will be available to guests prior to boarding the high speed catamaran back to Port Denarau.
During the day, Malamala Beach Club is an island day trip with an infinity pool, beachside cabanas – with butler service – white sandy beaches, handcrafted cocktails and a contemporary menu inspired by local Fijian flavours and produce – 25 minutes from Port Denarau. New features include day beds by the pool, which are for hire and a new ocean-side beach deck with additional loungers and beanbag seating. Malamala Beach Club is also available for exclusive charter hire and is a venue option for a corporate incentive, family celebration or wedding. malamalabeachclub.com
- Steve Andrews, Castaway; Angela Hassan,... Steve Andrews, Castaway; Angela Hassan,...
- John Ambler, Marriott International; Trudi... John Ambler, Marriott International; Trudi...
- Nina Eivers, Qamea Resort &... Nina Eivers, Qamea Resort &...
- Kate Adams, Fiji Airways; Raumati... Kate Adams, Fiji Airways; Raumati...
This week's industry forum between Fiji suppliers and New Zealand product managers and wholesalers focused on both opportunities and challenges.
The organisers of Blackwoodstock Festival are hoping New Zealand wholesalers will begin to package the annual music festival for their retailers and clients. The three day event started six years ago as a birthday party in an old fort – Fort Teremba – about 90 minutes drive from Noumea.
Jean-Marc Desvais, a director of the festival, and Daphne Louzier, who is involved in promoting the event, say it grew organically to the point where a crowd of 2500 turned up last year. Punters can stay in camping grounds at the festival, which has a diverse mix of punk, metal and other rock, electro music, folk and experiential sounds. Though it is primarily a three stage festival, the Saturday includes a fourth stage dedicated to acoustic and classical music. This year’s event will attract 10 international acts, including two from New Zealand, and 30 locals bands. Desvais and Louzier were at the Rendezvous New Caledonia workshops last week and say they want to expand the international attendance. Agents packages could include transfers, accommodation and event tickets. There is also a need for volunteers to help with the event. Email email@example.com
With Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) gearing up for it’s annual TOK TOK to be held in August this year, agents have been getting a taste of what’s to come through the 2018 Vanuatu Roadshows that have been held throughout Australia and New Zealand last month.
Promenade Tours has an expanding team and new tours in its range.
Sales and marketing manager Julie Cassin says new off-road tours are designed to get people out of Noumea and into the New Caledonian outback. ‘The key is that we have made this easy to book and easy to experience. We want people to think beyond transfers and city tours.’
Eleven agents accompanied by Go Holidays escort Nick Mallinder experienced the Island of Upolu, Samoa. Throughout their short stay they experienced culture, sights, and culinary delights. Highlights included participating in the Cooking with Culture Tour along with site inspections and a visit to To-Sua Trench.
Sa’Moana Beach Bungalows Resort on Upolu Island in Samoa is tapping into a niche fitness market that hasn’t yet been explored in the South Pacific, while also giving back to its local village. The resort’s new boxing fitness programme, ‘Underwraps’, will run in conjunction with New Zealand based boxing businesses, kicking off with a soft start initially and eventually catering to both amateurs and pros.
Niue’s annual bike race event ‘Ride The Rock’ is back for 2018.
The rally consists of five 8km speed stages through the centre of the island, where riders leave at one minute intervals and compete against the clock, the heat and their mates.
The luxury Six Senses Fiji opened on Saturday 14 April, but it already had a tick of approval from one of the Kiwi trade’s leading South Pacfic specialists before it opened.
Trade and media from around the world were due to attend the Fiji Tourism Expo (FTE) last week and and many of them would have had site inspections out at Six Senses – the latest addition to choices on Malolo Island.
Tourism Fiji was concentrating on getting the last international trade buyers out of the country yesterday following the ‘dicult decision’ to cancel this week’s Fijian Tourism Expo.
At the time of going to press Tourism Fiji was not in a position to talk about any alternative events or future famils to make up ground from the cancellation.
South Sea Cruises has released details of Malamala Beach Club, Fiji’s menus, confirmed prices and industry rates. Set to welcome guests from 14 August, the beach club is 25 minutes from Port Denarau and offers snorkelling in a surrounding reef, complimentary non-motorised water sports, beachside cabanas with butler service, and an à la carte menu from light bites to Pacific inspired meals and shared platters.
The opening of 16 new rooms in Rarotonga in August has met with favourable feedback from the Kiwi travel trade and will help ease some pressure on accommodation as late winter bookings come in for the island destination.
A new approach to international promotion, increased efforts to attract investment in tourism restructure and more emphasis on education and training are all features of a new strategy set to be announced by New Caledonia’s Congress in July.
This year’s STE event in Samoa brought in a record number of 70 international buyers, beating out last year’s number of 52. Leituala Joe Chan Ting, manager sales & marketing, Samoa Tourism credits the buyer attendance surge to increased inbound accessibility, a big tourism promotions push and a local shift.
Solomon Airlines is teaming up with Dive Munda and the Agnes Gateway Hotel in Munda to offer a value-added eight-night package with return flights to Munda ex-Brisbane.
Operating via Honiara on Saturdays and returning on Sundays, the package includes all accommodation at the Agnes Gateway Hotel and 12 dives with Dive Munda.
A group of agents visiting Tahiti on a recent famil visited Huahine, the garden island for two nights.
‘We had the opportunity to stay at Le Relais Mahana and Le Maitai Lapita and visiting the third hotel on the island Royal Huahine and a site inspection of a pension Fare Maeva Huahine. During an island tour we visited the
Plantation Island Resort has just launched a new day trip product, giving day visitors the opportunity to experience the resort for themselves.
The cost of a Plantation Island Resort Day Trip is F$140 per adult / F$70 per child, with guests departing Port Denarau at 10:30 am and returning at 4:50 pm.
Air Tahiti Nui has revealed its line up of events taking place in the Islands of Tahiti this year.
Air Tahiti Nui regional manager Australia New Zealand Alan Roman, says there is something for everyone in the 2018 Tahiti calendar.
Christmas is well and truly over, but Santa hasn’t left Radisson Blu Resort yet. He’s been visiting schools around Nadi, courtesy of the Adopt a School movement and Responsible Business team.
Children from Champs on Wheels, Mulomulo Secondary School, Sabeto College and Nadi District Kindergarten have all been surprised by Santa over the past few weeks.
Seabreeze Resort in Samoa has won ‘Best Deluxe Accommodation’ for the second year at the recent 2018 Samoan Tourism Excellence Awards.
The awards, which began in 2017, are voted on by visitors through guest surveys distributed at Faleolo Airport, Apia and in Apia town by the Samoa Tourism Authority.
From now to Sunday 11 February, Excite Holidays and Tourism Fiji is showcasing all Fiji has to offer to agents in a 10-page guide.
From exploring traditional sites to cooking authentic Fijian dishes, mixing with the locals at markets, swimming in waterfalls and even pushing the fear factor by swimming with reef sharks, the curated destination guide has
Ikurangi is an award-winning eco-retreat in the Cook Islands, and it’s up for sale.
Located in Matavera, Rarotonga, it’s on the market for $789,000 and includes four high-spec luxury safari tents, two spacious studio ‘Are’s’, a swimming pool, a reception/housekeeping space and an additional ‘Are’ which could serve as another room or managers residence.
Taveuni Palms Resort, Fiji Islands has won three awards at the World Luxury Hotel Awards held recently at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz in Switzerland.
The awards include winning best Luxury Private Villa in Fiji; best Luxury Romantic Villa in Fiji and best Luxury Private Pool Villa in the South Pacific/Oceania.
The To Sua Ocean Trench on the island of Upolu remains a top destination for visitors to Samoa, as proven by the recent Samoa Tourism and Samoa Airways famil that took place in November. A group of media explored both Upolu and Savaii islands, beginning with STA representative Poinsettia (Tia) Taefu taking the group to Coconuts Beach Resort, which would host the first two nights accommodation.
Coconuts Beach Resort’s spa is undergoing a complete refurbishment, expected to be completed by March 2018. The resort has been open since 1990, which makes it one of the first resorts in Samoa that is still in operation today. It has been renovated and refurbished numerous times over the years. It boasts the only overwater fales in Samoa.
The difference between Samoa and its other Pacific Island neighbours is that Samoa is still ‘raw and unfiltered’, according to Manoa Snorkelling’s Neil Lumsden. Hawaiian-born Lumsden has been living in Samoa for 15 years and runs Manoa Snorkelling, Surfing and Hiking Tours, putting on several tours from different parts of Upolu. ‘Tourism should grow organically, supply shouldn’t outgrow demand,’ he says.