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NZ Tourism Experts Push For Reform

Media release
2nd December 2004

New Zealand tourism experts support report on Pacific growth & reform

New Zealand tourism researchers are backing an Australian report which calls for reforms rather than aid, as a key to self-sufficiency among Pacific Island nations.

AUT Professor of Tourism Simon Milne says a report released today called 'The Pacific Is Viable' reinforces the need for sustainable business growth and investment in the Pacific.

International investors heading to Pacific in 2005

Professor Milne has today outlined details of an upcoming Pacific tourism investment conference, planned for Fiji from the 1- 4 February. He says the February forum - Profit In The Pacific Investment Conference - reflects growing worldwide interest in Pacific Island tourism investment.

Ironically, the February gathering of international investors is being driven by the European Union rather than regional interests. Profit in the Pacific is part of a PROINVEST aid program to promote tourism related business partnerships in the South Pacific.

"The EU has identified more than 100 high quality Pacific tourism products worthy of investment," says Professor Milne. "The investment opportunities range from hotel construction through to small adventure tourism ventures," he says.

The EU has organised the February forum as a way of attracting foreign capital to small Pacific nations. Investors from Europe and the Pacific Rim will be on hand at the conference, as will major aid agencies. Private investors from New Zealand are also being urged to attend.

"Profit In The Pacific will be the highest calibre tourism investment forum ever to take place in the Pacific region,"

"Tens of millions of dollars are expected to pour in the region as a result of new joint ventures, trading partnerships and technical assistance arrangements."

Professor Milne says New Zealand investors will have some advantages over their European counterparts.

"New Zealand investors should view this as an opportunity right on our doorstep, in a region we know better than many European investors," he says.

"The conference will have special appeal to Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand; this is great opportunity for them to explore investment prospects throughout the region."

Those seeking more information about the conference and the related investment opportunities can view the website at www.profitpacific.com .

*The New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, based at the Auckland University of Technology http://www.aut.ac.nz, brings together experts in the tourism and hospitality arena. The Institute aims to develop timely and innovative research solutions for the tourism industry and those who depend on it. NZTRI's focus is on helping to develop a profitable and sustainable industry which provides tangible benefits for business, residents and visitors. Current projects are in New Zealand, the South Pacific islands, Mexico, Newfoundland and Vietnam

Released on behalf of the European Union by Slice Media Limited

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