PIC Deputy Director Takehiro Kurosaki detailed recent trends in the tourism scenario in the Pacific Island countries with a particular focus on Tonga. Tonga Tourism Ministry officials Melesungu Pule and Simata-e-laa Palu, who worked as interns at PIC at the time, made the presentation on Tonga and the opportunities for tourism in the country.
The formal proceedings were followed by a traditional spread of Tongan delicacies including Lo’i Feke made with octopus and coconut milk, which the guests greatly enjoyed.
Though some 30 tourism operators’ representatives attended, all the participants provided positive feedback, especially as their many questions were answered in great detail by the organisers. One participant said, “It is very good that there was plenty of time to speak with the organisers and mingle at the social gathering after the presentations.”
The PIC says it plans to hold such seminars about trade and investment on a scale that will allow participants to fully exchange opinions with each other and obtain detailed information on the opportunities in the islands.
The event coincided with the visit of the two Tonga Tourism Ministry officers Ms Pule and Ms Palu who were at the PIC offices in Tokyo as part of the PIC internship programme.
The two ladies are studying International Development at Nagoya University as government-sponsored international students and working as interns at PIC during their vacation.
For the duration of this internship program, they interviewed people from travel agencies, airlines and other Pacific Island government tourist offices to familiarise them with the current situation of the tourism industry in Japan.
They made a presentation on tourism in Tonga at Tonga Tourism Seminar and on the last day of their internship they met with PIC staff to discuss how they would utilise their experience during the internship in their work at the Tourism Ministry and how they can cooperate with PIC.
The PIC hopes the relationship will flourish in future.