19 Jul 2019

Pacific to target niche Chinese tourists after training trip

2:04 pm on 19 July 2019

Twenty-three tourism operators from seven Pacific countries recently returned from a ten-day training trip to China.

Chinese tourists

Photo: Photo NZ

It was under the guise of the China Pacific Tourism Year, part of China's Belt & Road initiative.

Delegates from Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu participated in the tour funded by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Guangdong Province and the Jinan University.

The head of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Chris Cocker, said the visit helped Pacific tour operators learn more about the Chinese market.

"The Pacific is more suitable for niche tourism from the Chinese market. The groups and also mass tourism has no place in the Pacific region, and that was a good understanding.

"A lot of it comes down to education and increasing of awareness of them understanding more of the Chinese tourists. And also, how to prepare for them."

Mr Cocker said the Pacific is likely to target Chinese honeymooners, divers and people interested in culture.

He said Chinese visitors made up over five percent of the overall 2.1 million air visitors to the Pacific region last year and it is important to focus on emerging markets.