Vila Times

Vanuatu seeks help from PNG and Fiji to get into China’s tourism market

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Vanuatu tourism officials want a joint approach with Papua New Guinea and Fiji to develop the inbound Chinese tourism market.

“We are looking at the China market, like everyone else. We’re hoping to get flights directly from mainland China, either Southern China or Shanghai,” George Iapson, a member of the VIPA Board of Directors, told Business Advantage PNG.

“We need to piggyback on the Air Niugini move into the Chinese route development [PNG’s national airline is scheduled to start flying to Shanghai later this year] and there’s a real possibility we can move into the Asia market through PNG. That process has started.”

“Apart from maintaining our regular markets of Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, which make up about 85 per cent of our visitation, we have to factor the sea [cruise ships] into future thinking.”

“We need to grow as soon as possible. I guess I’d like to see sustained double-digit growth in tourism numbers, where we keep pace with infrastructural development—whether airports or hotels.”

“We have to work together as South Pacific countries on the China market. This is very, very important and the closer we can get, the easier it will be for all of us to get a share of that pie and the pie is big enough for all these countries,” Iapson said.