Pacific Islands

Two Raro resorts renovated

Tuesday, 11 May 2021 05:05

Pacific Resort Hotel Group has completed a $10 million renovation and repositioning of the Little Polynesian Resort and Pacific Resort Rarotonga.

The renovation programmes at both resorts has been ongoing over the past five years and entailed a full remodel of all guestrooms including new furniture, floor and wall coverings, as well as a bathroom remodel. In addition, renovation of all public areas, including restaurant, bar and pool is finished. A year-long closure of international borders into the Cook Islands due to Covid-19 has allowed both resorts to fast-track and complete upgrades ahead of schedule.

Samoa eyes borders

Tuesday, 13 April 2021 23:51

With increased prospects on a widening Pacific travel bubble in the next few months, Samoa Tourism Authority held a casual lunch and informative presentation for trade and media partners at Swashbucklers in Auckland last Friday.

Sonny Rivers, who handles the New Zealand market for STA, says that the opening of trans-Tasman borders and continued hope that Rarotonga and Niue will open to Kiwis soon are steps in the right direction for Pacific travel.

Site renovations for Samoa

Tuesday, 16 March 2021 02:10

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) is leading ongoing renovation works for sites within the country with assistance from the New Zealand Government through the Samoa Tourism Growth Partnership (STGP).

The partnership is a five-year investment since 2017, which also includes broader support of product development, tourism training and destination marketing.

Cooks' new training platform

Sunday, 28 February 2021 21:11

As talks of two way international travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands increase, travel agents are encouraged to become Cook Islands specialists through an all new online training platform from Cook Islands Tourism that focuses on the two most popular of the 15 islands - Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

The training platform features five modules: About the Cook Islands; About Rarotonga; Where to stay and things to do in Rarotonga; About Aitutaki; Where to stay and things to do in Aitutaki. 

Skal Nadi marks New Year

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 02:17

With Skal Nadi’s Christmas Party being cancelled due to Tropical Cyclone Yasa in December, the New Year’s event was the first time members had been able to meet for just on two months.

The meeting was held at a Nadi Skaleague’s restaurant, Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant at Port Denarau where owner Amy Subam arranged a menu of traditional local cuisine. About 30 people attended, including the entire Nadi-based membership. The acting CEO of Tourism Fiji, Robert Thompson was the official guest and gave an update on the latest news from the organisation.

'Top five' in the Cooks

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 20:35

Agents looking for information and advice on the Cook Islands in anticipation of a travel corridor can access an Instagram page that gives tips in the destination.

Erin Micthell has been living in the Cooks for two and a half years and says the border closure has given her the chance to explore her own back yard.

‘I’ve created an account called Top 5 Cook Islands,’ says Mitchell. ‘Every week I select a category and highlight my top five – everything from great places to eat, sleep, drink and swim will be covered.’

New rep for New Caledonia

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 22:46

New Caledonia Tourism has appointed Nouvelle Vague Marketing to represent the destination in New Zealand and Australia.

Translating to ‘French New Wave’, Nouvelle Vague is headed up by tourism industry specialist Caroline Brunel.

With more than 20 years’ experience in destination marketing (including five years working on New Caledonia), Brunel has worked across major DMOs and wholesale, on both client and agency side,

Kiwis keen to get to Fiji – 39% plan to book through agent

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 22:22

Fiji is high on the list of New Zealanders’ travel aspirations lists right now and many would pack their bags and go if the borders opened now, according to research released late last week.

Tourism Fiji partnered with Mediaworks at the end of 2020 to survey Kiwis around their mindset towards Fiji for a holiday. The research targeted listeners on three radio stations – MoreFM, The Breeze and George FM.

Excitor Fiji for sale

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 21:22

A well known Fiji adventure tourism operation is on the market.

The sale of Excitor Fiji includes two boats, a semi sub, and other aspects of the business and intellectual property.

The vessels service a number of destinations out of Denarau, including the new platform 7th Heaven which Excitor will serve exclusively.

New training website for PNG

Friday, 18 December 2020 01:32

Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) has a new destination training website for the trade.

Designed to immerse agents in the history, culture, adventures and unique stories of Papua New Guinea, as well as provide lots of practical information, the platform will help to increase destination knowledge and support the industry to better sell the destination.

Cook Is showcased virtually

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 21:52

The Cook Islands has created a new virtual reality feature online, showcasing six of the nation’s 15 islands. 

Agents can navigate their way virtually around popular islands such as Rarotonga and Aitutaki from a computer, tablet or mobile device, whilst utilising the 360 navigation tool for an expanded outlook on accommodation, lagoons, scenic views and sites, plus dining facilities and activity locations.

Tropica closed to 1 April 2021

Monday, 14 September 2020 20:17

Tropica Island Resort will temporarily close for international arrivals until 31 March 2021 and will reopen on 1 April 2021.

Wayne Deed, director of sales and marketing, says the decision was made in light of it looking extremely unlikely that Fiji will be open any time over the next few months.

Cooks brochure released

Thursday, 03 September 2020 04:21

A selection of 56 self catering properties and holiday homes in Rarotonga and Aitutaki, as well as hotels and resorts, are among the features of a new 36 page online brochure that focuses on the Cook Islands.

Released by Discover Cook Islands, a division of the Turama Pacific Travel Group, the brochure also has sample five and seven night stays in the destination. Rates are public and commissionable to bona fide travel agencies at 12%. Pricing is valid through to 31 March 2021 and the company will produce a further version for the next rate year.

CI tourism prepared for visitors from NZ

Monday, 10 August 2020 22:46

The Cook Islands health and tourism sectors are prepared for arrivals from New Zealand, a South Pacific Tourism Organisation webinar heard last week.

Vanuatu saves a spot

Monday, 06 July 2020 00:20

Vanuatu Tourism Office’s latest campaign, We’re Saving You A Spot, aims to motivate travellers to put Vanuatu on their holiday list.

The office says Vanuatu has remained Covid free and is ‘cautiously holding discussions and looking to open borders with New Zealand.’

Fiji plans ‘controlled’ travel

Tuesday, 23 June 2020 00:04

Fiji has set out a guideline to restart tourism, utilising VIP (Vacation in Paradise) lanes, that will see arrivals from Australia and New Zealand ‘holidaying in a manner that is carefully controlled and safely insulated’.

TN: ‘Don’t miss Pacific bubble opp’

Saturday, 20 June 2020 22:49

New Zealand will miss an important opportunity to travel safely if a South Pacific bubble doesn't open soon, according to Daniel Eggenberger, general manager of Air Tahiti Nui.

Tahiti is opening to visitors from 15 July, with pre-departure health checks required by visitors.

Tourism Fiji's Happy Hour TV

Monday, 15 June 2020 21:14

Airing fortnightly on Tourism Fiji’s YouTube Channel, ‘Happy Hour TV’ will be available for international travellers and locals alike to tune in for an extra dose of Fiji happiness.

In the first episode the hosts report on the revival of bartering across Fiji as they speak with the founder of the revolutionary Facebook page, ‘Barter for Better Fiji.’ This Facebook group was created during the pandemic as a way for Fijians who are short on cash to still collect the items and resources they need.

Pushing for CI-NZ link

Saturday, 06 June 2020 22:47

A leading hospitality personality in the Cook Islands has added his voice to calls for travel between that destination and New Zealand to be opened as soon as possible.

‘There are a number of reasons that make this logical and beneficial to both countries,’ says Tata Crocombe, chairman of Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort, The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium and other properties and products. He is also founder of

New Cal e-learning & incentive

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 00:39

New Caledonia Tourism has a new trade website and e-learning platform for travel agents.

Designed to grow agents’ knowledge and understanding of New Caledonia, both the website and platform feature practical information to engage the industry with the South Pacific archipelago.

Time for return of Coral route?

Friday, 01 May 2020 03:31

A well known Kiwi representative for Pacifc Island destinations and products has called for innovative ideas to boost travel in the region when it is safe to do so.

Susan Williams, of Hogan and Associates, says one such idea borrows from the past, but generated plenty of interest when she mentioned it on Facebook over the weekend.

Niue Tourism change

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 03:53

Felicity Bollen is departing the role of Niue Tourism chief executive. Prior to a five-year tenure leading Niue Tourism she worked as the business development manager of the Niue Chamber of Commerce for two years.

Bollen will continue to contribute to the development of the Pacific region, taking up the position in early May of director of Pacific Connections at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade based in Auckland.



Solomons Is… still standing

Monday, 30 March 2020 21:48

Tourism Solomon Islands is reminding the trade that the destination is known as the ‘Hapi Isles’ for a good reason.

BLC 70 years young

Tuesday, 10 March 2020 02:20

There was quite a crowd on the MV Fiji Princess at Port Denarau on Thursday night when Blue Lagoon Cruises held its 70th birthday celebration.

Combined CK message

Tuesday, 25 February 2020 02:52

Edgewater Resort and Spa and Club Raro in the Cook Islands are increasingly being marketed as a ‘combined force’ under the banner of Island Hotels Group.

Tour at Fiji’s ‘forgotten’ side

Monday, 24 February 2020 23:23

A new tour to an often overlooked part of Fiji was promoted by Pacific Destinations during a trade event in Auckland yesterday.

NiuePocketGuide in

Friday, 14 February 2020 00:05

It wasn’t just the launch of the NiuePocketGuide that was celebrated in Auckland this week.

Vanuatu land diving

Friday, 14 February 2020 00:00

Vanuatu Ecotours has a new three-day package for clients wanting to better understand Vanuatu’s land diving ceremony and the mysterious South Pentecost region.

Samoa wedding workshop targets Kiwi trade

Monday, 10 February 2020 22:42

Obvious potential in the marriage and romance markets has encouraged Samoa Tourism to hold a weddings workshop for the trade in Auckland early next month.

Brunel scores Tahiti Tourisme

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 00:38

Sydney-based Caroline Brunel of Nouvelle Vague Marketing is the new representative for Tahiti Tourisme in the Australia and New Zealand markets.

PNG cruises into trade’s focus

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 00:09

Papua New Guinea’s emergence in the cruise sector is encouraging both trade and clients to view the destination in a new way, according to PNG representatives who visited New Zealand last week.

New CEO at Tahiti Tourisme

Thursday, 16 January 2020 23:12

Jean-Marc Mocellin has been appointed chief executive officer of Tahiti Tourisme.

Vomo rocks for couples

Monday, 13 January 2020 22:28

The opening of The Rocks adults-only area last year has helped Vomo Island Fiji strengthen its position as a couples resort, while not detracting from its appeal as a luxury family destination, says general manager Justin King.

PNG brochure new option

Monday, 16 December 2019 21:40

What is believed to be the first substantial and dedicated brochure for Papua New Guinea in the New Zealand market is set to be released to the trade early in 2020.

New South Pacific GM for IHG

Sunday, 08 December 2019 21:29

Lachlan Walker is the new GM of IHG’s South Pacific hotels.

New BLC itinerary

Sunday, 08 December 2019 21:09

Specially created itineraries around Blue Lagoon Cruises’ 70th anniversary give agents a chance to take a fresh approach to one of the Pacific’s most popular products, the company says.

New Cal’s self famils

Tuesday, 03 December 2019 22:25

New Caledonia Tourism and Aircalin hosted their last trade lunch update for 2020 at Maison Vauron last week for NZ Travel Brokers.

Matai famils: luxury and more...

Monday, 25 November 2019 22:57

Thirty six agents from around New Zealand have just returned from a series of eight day famils in Fiji.

New GM at Fiji resort

Thursday, 21 November 2019 20:15

John Ambler is the new resort manager at Yatule Resort & Spa in Fiji.

Samoa travel advice – measles epidemic

Thursday, 21 November 2019 19:43


The Government of Samoa on the 15th of November 2019 declared a Proclamation of State of Emergency for 30 days for the measles epidemic.

New CEO – Edgewater, Club Raro

Monday, 18 November 2019 22:34

Andrew Whittaker has been appointed group CEO of Island Hotels Group and will lead the implementation of the group’s growth strategy for Edgewater Resort & Spa and Club Raro Resort.

Trade website for New Cal

Thursday, 14 November 2019 22:05

Prizes and incentives will be part of a new trade training website for New Caledonia in 2020.

‘Fuzionites’ discover Niue

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 03:12

A yacht club where none of the members have yachts or are interested in sailing (but the hospitality is great), and a jail with no inmates are just two of the quirky touches to Niue that Fuzion Travel brokers discovered during their conference in the destination over the weekend.

Pacific takes group approach

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 20:57

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.

Port Vila resort spreads appeal

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 02:20

Ramada Resort Port Vila is continuing to diversify its market appeal to embrace sectors such as families, weddings and meetings, says Susan Jones, the hotels sales and marketing rep for New Zealand and Australia.

Double Tree for Noumea

Monday, 14 October 2019 01:34

L’Escapade Island Resort is likely to re-open as a Double Tree by Hilton in September 2020 after a major refurbishment from May through August.

New Caledonia trade fares, self famils

Thursday, 03 October 2019 23:06

Sharp industry airfares with Aircalin and a selection of trade deals with New Caledonia properties and transport operators are encouraging New Zealand agents to conduct a self famil of the destination.

South Pacific trade event

Monday, 30 September 2019 20:02

The South Pacific will be out in force for two days in Christchurch next year.

Eco tours: off the beaten track

Monday, 23 September 2019 22:31

New adventures to Vanuatu’s emerging destinations of Ambrym and Malekula have been developed by Vanuatu EcoTours, and follow the launch of the company’s three-day Trek Tanna tour earlier this year.

Fiji mega famil fills fast

Monday, 23 September 2019 22:01

All 38 spots for Tourism Fiji’s Matai mega famil scheduled for 17 to 24 November 2019 have been filled after more than 200 expressions of interest were registered earlier this month.

Cook Islands roadshow

Friday, 06 September 2019 00:17

A steady stream of new developments in the Cook Islands helped attract some 200 agents to the destination’s ‘Love a Little’ educational event and function this week.

Fiji bride businesses combine

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 03:05

Bula Bride has acquired the wedding business I Was Married In Fiji (IWMIF). Bula Bride’s director, Leanne Goff says Bula Bride is the busiest weddings website in Fiji and wanted to extend its potential reach further.

Vanuatu's new vision

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 02:55

Public-private partnerships and a shared vision between Vanuatu Tourism Office, Air Vanuatu and Vanuatu Airports Ltd were some of the initiatives shared at the 17th Tok Tok tourism event in Vanuatu last week. This followed the previous week’s reveal of the country’s new tourism brand and tagline – Answer the Call of Vanuatu. Launched in January, the 2030 Aviation and Tourism Vision pulls together in-market destination awareness, air connectivity and aviation infrastructure development to ensure not only more international visitors, but dispersal into the provinces. According to Vanuatu’s 2018 International Visitor Survey, just 10% of visitors travelled beyond the main island of Efate.


‘Our aim is for 10 to 30% of visitors to disperse among the six provinces, says Adela Issachar, chief executive officer of VTO. ‘We need the connectivity to work, the pricing has to be right and the flights reliable and on time.’ In addition to the Tourism Vision, an upcoming amendment to the Vanuatu Tourism Office Act will mean that all tourism operators will need to contribute to tourism office funding. Issachar says the amendment will also ensure that operators abide by tourism standards. ‘They will need to obtain a permit and be market ready and able to benefit from destination marketing. It is about the quality of the product and experience they are offering.’ More than 50 buyers and 50 sellers enjoyed a positive vibe at Tok Tok, filling the conference centre at Warwick Le Lagon in Port Vila. Scheduled appointments doubled over 2018 to 1020 and there were around a dozen new products exhibiting.


Many of the new products had come on line over the last two years but were only now ready for the international market. The VTO has worked with training providers and established operators to help get them up to speed. ‘They are now able to exhibit because they are market ready,’ says Issachar. ‘We’re also helping travel centres package better itineraries and product. ‘We have come along way, the last two years have been busy working and this is a great result. We’ve had private sector input, shared resources and identified specific market segments.’ One of those segments is weddings which continues to be a big focus for VTO. Business events is another, and by the end of the year the VTO intends to appoint a dedicated business events specialist.

Love A Little Raro & Aitutaki

Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:30

The Cook Islands’ increasingly diverse range of accommodation will be one of the destinational features highlighted at a trade event in Auckland early next month.