21 Sep 2005

SPTO backs Maori tourism approach

8:04 pm on 21 September 2005

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation fully supports a novel approach from a New Zealand company to promote tourism in the region.

The Maori tourism operator, Tamaki Heritage Enterprises, which has several so-called living Maori villages attractions around New Zealand, wants to extend the concept to embrace other Pacific cultures.

It would give tourists a glimpse of the diversity of Pacific cultures and provide a gateway for those wanting to travel through the region on a multi-destination package.

Robert Skewes of the SPTO backs the idea, though he says it will require extensive consultation.

"Tourism here in the South Pacific is linked to New Zealand and I think for a lot of our islands our traditional links to Melanesian and obviously a lot of Polynesian links came through Hawaii, the Samoas, Tonga, Tahiti, the Cook Islands and onto New Zealand. And I think particularly these days people are looking for something more unique."

Robert Skewes, the Chairman of the SPTO.