Thursday, 6 September 2007 4:13 PM

Tourism: China One of Emerging Markets

Pacific Island countries are told to target quality visitor experiences by slowly developing the Chinese visitor market.

As reported by Fiji's daily online newspaper, The Fiji Times Online, Chief Executive of South Pacific Travel (formerly South Pacific Tourism Organisation), Tony Everitt, made the statement following the decision by Fiji's Interim Government to exempt Chinese nationals from requiring visitors when traveling to Fiji.

He said that the focus should be on quality visitor experiences and that the target should be on the top end of the visitor market only as "the visa-waiver creates an opportunity to develop the independent traveling Chinese segment".

In an earlier interview with Islands Business, Mr. Everitt had stated that emerging markets such as China, like other markets, will always favour classic resort-style accommodation suited for families. However, new products need to be developed, especially in ecotourism.

With tourists from such emerging markets seeking unique experiences in the Pacific, the onus is on Pacific Island countries to carefully develop the market so that it provides these tourists with truly quality experiences which, in turn, will generate more revenue. By maintaining a standard level of quality, Pacific Island countries can ensure that they do not fall prey to providing quick, cheaper tourism activities such as the low value tour groups increasing in some countries.

The good news for the Pacific Islands, according to the interview, is that despite the instability in the region, the Pacific region still remains an ideal, dream destination to these emerging markets who face their own issues. And the region must then take full advantage of this by continuing to improve their standards of service in the industry.

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