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Island Tourism.

22 December 2004

EU Urges New Zealand Pacific Islanders To Invest In Island Tourism.

The European Union is urging New Zealand's Pacific Island community to join international investors lining up for a multi-million dollar portfolio of Pacific tourism projects.

EU officials have identified and vetted more than 100 high quality Pacific tourism products they believe are worthy of local and international investment

The new tourism businesses will be unveiled at a major tourism conference in Fiji in February. They range from construction and hotel accommodation projects, through to small adventure tourism ventures.

AUT Professor of Tourism Simon Milne is one of the organisers of February's investment gathering. Professor Milne says the Profit In The Pacific Investment Conference (February 1-4) aims to create business partnerships between Pacific and European investors. The PROFIT conference is aimed at global investors and is part of the EU's PROINVEST aid programme.

"PROFIT will focus on business opportunities within 14 Pacific nations," says Professor Milne. "These include the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Fiji and Vanuatu."

"New Zealand investors should view February's event as an opportunity right on our doorstep, in a region we know better than many European investors. The conference will have special appeal to Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand. This is a rare opportunity for them to help generate new income and employment back home in the Islands."

Professor Milne says Pacific Islanders here are well placed to offer expertise in a number of areas, including hotel development and tourism supplies and services; as well as transport, training and communication technology. New Zealand companies who attend the conference are also eligible for EU funding. The EU has announced that investors from this country will be eligible for grants of up to 50,000 Euros - about NZ$90,000.

The EU funding is available to investors who attend and form business partnerships at the February conference. Until recently, cash incentives were only available to European investors.

PROFIT will be held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island. 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, 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

ENDS

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