24 Oct 2003

The Pacific looks to New Zealand and Australia to grow the tourism market

5:00 pm on 24 October 2003

The New Zealand Tourism Industry Association is predicting significant increases in the promotion of Pacific Island holidays in New Zealand and Australia.

The association's chief executive, John Moriarty, says countries such as Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands have long relied on funding from the European Commission to promote themselves in Europe.

But he says that money is running out, and the nations have signalled they will start looking closer to home to find new markets.

"I guess it's dawned on them that there's a huge untapped potential to attract New Zealanders and Australians to the Islands...I mean many go there now but the question could there be more, could the quality of the visit change"

John Moriarty says the push shouldn't hurt domestic tourism.

He says New Zealand airlines and travel agents clearly benefit from an increased outbound South Pacific market, as does the regional economy.