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The Pacific Islands tourism sector is longing for a boom in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit the following month.
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may also visit Australia and New Zealand
- Royal visits often result in a spike in interest from travellers
- Tonga has its Royal family, that are finding your way through the visit
The Royal couple, referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now, will be going to Fiji and Tonga within an October tour that also contains Australia and New Zealand.
It has been generations because the Queen’s stop by at the Pacific in 1953.
Considering the global fascination with the Royal newlyweds, the tourism sector believes their visit presents a rare possibility to sell the Pacific region on the planet stage.
“Our greatest advantage may be the free publicity that people are certain to get, and putting the Pacific on the map,” Christopher Cocker, CEO of South Pacific Tourism Organisation, told the ABC.
He said local tourist operators and businesses have a rare possibility to showcase their wares on a global stage.
“I recall when Prince William and Kate visited the Solomon Islands these were given Pacific shirts … which became a wanted thing by the tourists and the locals,” he said.
“So that it should come to … the plain things they wear in cases like this. Whether it’s something from the united states itself and in addition if you can find souvenirs.”
‘They are tourism gold’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit in mid-October may also include New Zealand and Australia, where they’ll step off the primary tourist trail and spend each day in the rural NSW farming town of Dubbo.
Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, pointed to the result Prince Harry’s brother Prince William had when he and his wife Kate, with their newborn son, visited Australia in 2014.
“In lots of respects they’re tourism gold, due to general consumer fascination with the Royal family from markets just like the UK and in addition increasingly in markets like Canada,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“What we often see is increased interest through Australia.com, our main website, and in addition through the travel trade of Brits thinking about visiting Australia to check out in the footsteps of these Royal family.
“There is no question that markets like Tonga and Fiji should be able to capitalise on the images from the Royal tour, and I believe among the plain things those destinations have is their welcoming and friendly people, that i think is a great chance of them.”
Visit takes special significance in Tonga
Ana Ungatea Palu from Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism said the country was hoping to improve tourism’s share of the annual GDP from under 20 to 30 % by 2020.
“I do believe that it could raise the awareness to the visitors and tourists of the planet.”
As Tonga has its Royal family, that are assisting the tourism ministry plan the visit, Ms Palu believes the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit will need on special significance.
“The Queen Nanasipau’u, she’s been on radio, working with the nobles’ wives on the campaign to ask individuals of Tonga to interact in preparation for the Royal visit.”
Mr Cocker was confident the visit would yield valuable benefits for the tourism sector — that is imperative to the region’s economic future.
“Our greatest asset is our people, our oceans, along with our culture … if we don’t keep it and promote these key assets, we won’t have any tourism inside our Pacific region.”
- Tuesday October 16: Sydney
- Wednesday October 17: Dubbo
- Thursday October 18: Melbourne
- Friday October 19: Sydney
- Saturday October 20: Sydney
- Sunday October 21: Sydney
- Monday October 22: Fraser Island
- Tuesday October 23: Suva, Fiji
- Wednesday October 24: Suva, Fiji
- Thursday October 25: Nadi, Nuku’alofa and fiji, Tonga
- Friday October 26: Nuku’alofa, Tonga and Sydney
- Saturday October 27: Sydney
- Sunday October 28: Wellington, New Zealand
- Monday October 29: Wellington and Abel Tasman, NZ
- Tuesday October 30: Auckland, NZ
- Wednesday October 31: Rotorua, NZ