Meet the Pacific (MTP) is a B2B programme led by the private sector. Prominent inbound operators Rosie Holidays (Fiji) and Turama Pacific (Cook Islands & Samoa) have been collaborating and working on this model to effectively engage with key wholesalers throughout Europe. With the key support of SPTO, the two companies bring together products of Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and New Caledonia and create a “one stop south pacific shop” for wholesalers. Now in its 5th successful year, MTP determined to expand its programme into Asia, looking at major city centres and access of Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Turamas Managing Director Robert Skews and Cook Islands Tourism Corporations Director of Global Sales and Marketing Karla Eggelton represented the destination offering product training and packaging tips throughout the 15minute one-on-one meetings as well as 10minute destination presentations to invited travel agents (over 100 in total) in each city completed in the local language by corporation representatives Ms Danielle Xiao (China) and Mr Kei Mori (Japan).
“We were able to successfully complete more than 40 appointments with key partners and potential partners across the three cities as well as increasing awareness across the key retail agencies ” said Eggelton. “While business from this area is only a small percentage of the overall Cook Islands business, it is important to maintain diversity in our source market portfolio remembering that a carefully targeted customer profile is always maintained. That is, our Asia traffic is largely FIT, mid-high end, travelling in our low season – predominantly Chinese New Year and Japanese National Holidays. We are pleased to see some growth from these markets”
Plans at this stage is to continue the Asia programme and in the future look at including other cities in other Asia destinations such as Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Eggelton will stay on in Japan for a few extra days to complete joint appointments with key partners including Air New Zealand. She returns to Cook Islands Friday night.