30th September, 2019, Suva, FIJI –Tourism Ministers from SPTO’s member countries will gather in Niue this week (Thursday October 3rd) to attend the
annual SPTO Council of Tourism Ministers meeting and to discuss a number of key aspects of tourism development in the
The Ministers meeting on Thursday will see the culmination of a week of other high level SPTO meetings in Niue, all
targeted at improving tourism development and promotion in the region and contributing to sustainable tourism. The theme
for this year’s SPTO meetings is Sustainable Tourism – Our Future.
“Sustainable tourism is a key issue in the Pacific particularly with the negative impacts of climate change and natural
disasters we are experiencing and the forecasted increases in tourism arrivals over the next few years. As part of
SPTO’s commitment to ensure that we in the tourism industry are not working in silos, ensuring that the developments in
the tourism industry are moving in the right direction as well as sharing of valuable information, best practices and
lessons learnt amongst our member countries, we are striving at this week’s meetings to keep this issue at the forefront
of high level discussions with our Pacific government and tourism leaders,” said SPTO CEO, Mr. Christopher Cocker as he
reiterated comments from the World Tourism Day celebration last Friday.
The Council of Ministers meeting now in its 29th year, is organized annually by SPTO, the region’s peak tourism
development and marketing body, in partnership with each host country.
Items on the agenda include China Pacific Tourism Development Initiatives (2020- 2024), the launch of the SPTO Strategic
Plan (2020- 2024), Collaborative Partnerships 2020 and beyond as well as regional initiatives such as the Oceania
village initiative at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games. The Ministers will also be briefed in presentations
from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) and United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
In the lead up to the Council of Ministers Meeting. SPTO will also facilitate a meeting of all Marketing Managers and
Executives of SPTO countries to discuss SPTO’s regional marketing programme on Tuesday October 1st.
The meeting will review SPTO’s proposed marketing programme for 2020 and deliberate on matters of interests pertaining
to destination marketing for SPTO and the Pacific Islands. The SPTO regional marketing plan 2020 will be tabled for
consensus prior to its submission to the SPTO Board meeting for final approval.
Other highlights of the marketing meeting include a panel session focusing on topics relating to digitalization of
destination marketing, branding, marketing as a sustainable tourism destination and opportunities for MICE / mega events
for Pacific Islands. The Marketing executives will also be briefed with presentations on opportunities of marketing the
Pacific Islands in China by key speakers from China and the Pacific Islands Trade Invest (Beijing office).
“It is expected to be a busy week for us in Niue as we also join the people of Niue and our host member, Niue Tourism in
their celebrations of the China Pacific Islands Tourism Year (CPTY 2019) this week,” SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris
Cocker said. Niue Tourism has designated this week’s SPTO meetings and activities in recognition of the 2019 CPTY.
“We are expecting that meetings to contribute to new ideas and approaches to help improve the way we do tourism business
in the region and to take us to the next level,” he added.
On Wednesday October 2nd, the SPTO Board will also meet in Niue to endorse SPTO’s 2020 work plan encompassing the three
main divisional programmes of Marketing, Research & Statistics and Sustainable Tourism Development as well as discuss a number of other SPTO activities and matters
including the South Pacific Tourism Exchange 2020, a high level advocacy and engagement strategy and proposed
The SPTO meetings will be held at the picturesque Scenic Matavai Resort.