International tourism Buyers (travel agents and wholesalers) interested in sending visitors to Bougainville PNG have given the recent South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) 2015 and especially Bougainville as a future growing tourism destination the ‘thumbs-up’ after two-days of successful business-to-business meetings at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre .
Tour operators, hotel and accommodation providers as well as National Tourism Offices from 16 Pacific Island Countries converged into Melbourne with over 60 international buyers from the traditional source markets of Australia and New Zealand to the emerging long haul markets of the United States, China and Europe to conduct business and networking.
Zhon Bosco Miriona, Managing Director of Bougainville Experience Tours for second time in the past year was able to represent Bougainville on the world stage supported by Colin Cowell an International media and tourism consultant with over 25 years’ experience marketing Indigenous tourism.
Top Photo Social media : Online tour bookings site , Facebook ,@YesBougainville on Twitter and Bougainville Tourism INSTAGRAM are playing an important role in Bougainville Experience Tours International Marketing
Second Photo Above : Developing partnerships with Wako Napusu Inbound operator Country Tour PNG and Asian operators above to bring in small groups for a 7 day Bougainville Tour Experience
Mr. Miriona said without the help of Bougainville small business and other sponsors and supporters (see list below) I would not have been able to attend this important but expensive international marketing opportunity for Bougainville.
“Our fundraising in Arawa raised 5,270 kina and it really proved that a wide range of organisations and individuals understand the economic, cultural and social benefits that international tourism can bring to Bougainville. Hopefully this new Government can also see that they need to develop a Bougainville Tourism Plan 2015-2025 to strategically invest in tourism infrastructure training and marketing “Mr. Miriona said
Mr Miriona stated SPTE 2015 was bigger than initially anticipated and the large number of buyers and sellers at this year’s event is indicative of the growing interest in the Pacific region’s only tourism exchange.
“The overwhelming response to SPTE 2015 from both the buyers and sellers has contributed to its success! Our PNG team worked especially hard to ensure that the quality of buyers from our international markets would add value to the exchange, especially for our regional member areas like Bougainville. The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority and Colin Cowell have been a fantastic support developing Bougainville tourism over the past few years. I am pleased to say that with all this support Bougainville does have a bright future” Mr. Miriona added.
Mr Miriona went on to say that the major problem that Bougainville cultural tourism has is that the Bougainville Government cannot guarantee funding or dates for the many festivals or events that occur each year throughout the island such as Mona and the Reeds Festival .
“Like other major cultural festivals throughout Papua New Guinea we need to lock in dates and funding five years ahead so that International buyers and cruise ships can plan and sell tours”
Mr Miriona went on to highlight some of the other international marketing that he and Mr Cowell did whilst in Melbourne
“This year SPTE 2015 extended an invitation to the international media that were in Melbourne for the Australian Tourism Exchange and I was able to do a number of radio interviews promoting Bougainville tourism
Radio Australia Interview with Bruce Hill
List of Lodges, corporates and individuals who attended and donated for the fundraising for BET rep to attend the 2nd South Pacific Tourism Exchanges in Melbourne Australia.
|1||Poonang Nava Inn||K600.00|
|2||Arawa Transit Lodge||K300.00|
|5||Urunaa Island Lodge||K300.00|
|7||National Airport Corporation||K100.00|
|8||PNG Ports Limited||K300.00|
|9||Gold Dust Ltd||K300.00|
|12||Hon Member Nick Darku||K300.00|
|13||Bougainville Earth Works||K300.00|
|14||Kompaini Plant Hire||K300.00|
|17||Vincent Simon Bus Service||K200.00|
|19||Nigana Bus Service||K100.00|
|24||Tuvoro Service Station||K50.00|