Challenging traditional views of travel, tourism in the Pacific
Apia, SAMOA — The second Pacific Tourism Insights Conference (P.T.I.C.) brought together 157 delegates from 95 organizations and 16 destinations to influence change and share their thoughts and ideas on the future of tourism in the Pacific.
Organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (P.A.T.A.) in collaboration with the South Pacific Tourism Organization (S.P.T.O.) and hosted by Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.), the event took place at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows in Apia.
P.A.T..A C.E.O. Dr. Mario Hardy said, “This year’s event continues our commitment in providing greater depth into the challenges and issues for the responsible development of the travel and tourism in the Pacific region. The discussions arising from the conference highlighted the need for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors in preserving the unique culture and heritage of the local communities and protecting the environment. In addition, organizations need to better leverage these assets in promoting the beauty of the Pacific.”
The discussions from the event focus on the four key topics of insights, development, expertise and sustainability and their contribution towards achieving the objectives of the Pacific Tourism Strategy 2015-2019, which provides the strategic framework to support the development of tourism in the Pacific.
In her welcome remarks, Papalii Sonja Hunter, Chairwoman of S.P.T.O. and C.E.O. of S.T.A., stated, “As you know the Pacific Tourism Insights Conference is a result of the longstanding and valuable partnership between S.P.T.O. and P.A.T.A.
Samoa is inspired to hold this event because we recognize the need to inspire, innovate and empower our Pacific people. Furthermore, we recognize the need for a regional space where Pacific tourism leaders from the public sector and particularly private sector stakeholders could gather, discuss and learn more from the key global issues impacting the future of tourism development for the region.”
The event featured presentations from a dynamic line up of international speakers representing organizations recognized for the success and expertise in innovation and disruptive thinking.
Speakers included Andrew Panopoulos, Senior Analyst – Centre for Aviation (CAPA); Chris Adams, General Manager – Miles Partnership (South Pacific); Gina Paladini, Partner – Binumi and Managing Director – Tomahawk Jelena Li, Head – BBC StoryWorks Australia & New Zealand; Jessica Quinlan, Sales Manager – Destination Marketing for Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands – TripAdvisor; Dr. Mario Hardy, C.E.O. – P.A.T.A; Dr. Susanne Becken, Director – Griffith Institute for Tourism, and Thu Nguyen, Co-founder & CEO – Christina’s Company Limited, Vietnam.
The conference panel sessions were moderated by Phil Mercer, International Correspondent at BBC World News, Australia.
In his closing, S.P.T.O. C.E.O. Chris Cocker said, “As a region, we collectively market our destinations to the rest of the world, and it is practical that we acquire the skills and knowledge that our markets utilize. We are fortunate in the regional tourism industry that at one conference we have speakers and resource people who are outstanding thought leaders in their areas of expertise which has ranged from ‘Artificial Intelligence and Tourism’ to ‘Social Media Implications on Destination Marketing’. This conference has been made possible through the valuable partnership we have with P.A.T.A. and S.T.A. who share our vision for an empowered and knowledgeable Pacific people working together to sustainably develop tourism in the region.”