Raumati Barbara, Saletoga Sands; Laura Wadsworth, Taumeasina Island Resort Raumati Barbara, Saletoga Sands; Laura Wadsworth, Taumeasina Island Resort

Pacific takes group approach

Agents who deal with group travel of various sorts were the target audience of a joint destination Pacific event at Villa Maria Estate near Auckland Airport mid October.

Organiser Faye Spooner says Meet the Pacific was aimed at incentive, meeting and conference organisers but beyond that had appeal to wedding planners and organisers of sports and educational tours, as well as travel agents who send inter-generational and other family groups to the Pacific. While most of the ‘buyers’ were from Auckland, agents also came from Wellington, Christchurch, New Plymouth and Rotorua.

Exhibitors represented product out of Tahiti, Vanuatu, Samoa, New Caledonia and Fiji.

Moana McKeen, trade manager New Zealand with Tahiti Tourisme, says the destination has seen a big increase in multi generational family business.‘ Some use private villas, others hotels, and some cruise. It is as diverse as any other market, though they tend to focus on Tahiti and Moorea rather than other islands unless they cruise. We’ve always catered to the cultural and educational markets and we are continuing to work on those.’ McKeen says the NTO’s next famil for 10 agents is in November and is fully subscribed. ‘We have three fam trips a year and 20 of the agents will be first time travellers to the destination – the other 10 repeat visitors. It is still a key goal of ours to have agents experience the destination and we want to support that as much as we can.’ She says Air Tahiti Nui continues to offer special agent fares and accommodation providers also have trade rates.

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