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2015 Inaugural South Pacific Cruise Forum Success
October 28 2015

2015 Inaugural South Pacific Cruise Forum Success


PAPEETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Oct.28, 2015 The first South Pacific Cruise Forum recently took place in Papeete on the island of Tahiti from October 16 – 17. The two days of conferences and exchanges were dedicated to the development of the cruise industry in the South Pacific islands.
The forum welcomed 130 attendees from the entire Pacific region including American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Pitcairn, Samoa, Solomon Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga, New Zealand and Australia, as well as, Singapore, the United States and Canada. Attendees commenced the conference as a group and then broke out into different round table sessions at the Assembly of French Polynesia, in the presence of the Tourism Minister of French Polynesia, Jean-Christophe Bouissou.
The opening speakers included Ollivier Amaru, President, South Pacific Cruise Alliance and Crystal Morgan, Director Deployment Planning, Princess Cruises. Both speakers shared an overview of the cruise industry and presented different but complementary visions about the future of cruising.
The conference highlighted the South Pacific as a fast growing cruising area in 2015, illustrated by more than 50 international ships representing 30 brands and cruise companies; and more than 100 ports of call with a total of 2,546 calls, for nearly half a million passengers. To emphasize the growth, it was noted that if cruise activity of New Zealand was included, the whole South Pacific area (except Australia) would total 3% of global cruise, representing more than South America and, if current trends continue, nearly as high as Alaska.
Key goals of the forum included facilitating discussion regarding balance between capacities and expectations; and discussion of growth strategies, despite the challenge of distant source markets.  Issues covered included a possible coordinated policy between the ports of Auckland, Tahiti and Fiji, and all South Pacific destinations with cruise stakeholders representing different segments, on the matter of turn arounds and embarkation/disembarkation operations in the region. It was discussed as an opportunity Development of new itineraries, fresh and diversified activities, and reasonable and competitive operating costs for the companies were discussed as opportunities.
Mick Fogg with Ponant and Michael Mihajlov with Carnival Australia emphasized the shipowners’ expectations of the destinations for expedition vessels or bigger ships, continuously increasing their average tonnage. René Trepanier with Cruise the St. Lawrence and Kevin O’Sullivan with Cruise New Zealand shared their own experiences and programs developed in their respective countries to address expectations and international challenges. The day closed with each of the South Pacific islands representatives able to anticipate the efforts needed for growth in order not to be isolated or marginalised; and be a part of future developments.
The second day round table sessions were a success as attendees actively discussed topics openly and participated in a productive debate. Each destination exchanged dialog with represented cruise lines, particularly with Sheldon Thompson with Royal Caribbean about shore excursions, infrastructures and logistics, regulation and supply and regional marketing strategies.
From the discussions, attendees were able to establish efforts and expectations, share different opinions, reduce the doubts and fears, and propose practical actions.
As a result of the forum, South Pacific states and countries were able to gain a clearer vision of a growth path and of the methods to achieve it. The relationships initiated between the Ports Authorities and shore excursionists will help facilitate internal cohesion for each destination.
The South Pacific Cruise Alliance significantly strengthened regional cruise industry relations with attendees and initiated an important step for the development of the cruise industry in the South Pacific region. The forum offered structure and solutions for the development of the region and was recognized by forum participants. Several projects are in the works for 2016 and 2017 as a result of the forum. 



Contact Information
For further information, please contact the Tahiti Tourisme Public Relations Team:

Cait Langley
Communications Coordinator
Ph: (310) 414-8484 ext 222
Fx: (310) 414-8490


For all articles, please list the following contact information for the official Destination Marketing Office for the islands of Tahiti in North America:

Tahiti Tourisme North America
9841 Airport Blvd, Suite 1120
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310) 414-8484
Fax: (310) 414-8490

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Cait Langley
Communications Coordinator
Ph: (310) 414-8484 ext 222
Fx: (310) 414-8490

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