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Kiribati welcomes China Tourism Destination Status

The Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) welcomes the People’s Republic of China’s announcement to declare Kiribati as a tourism destination for Chinese citizens.

This announcement follows the historical state visit to China by Kiribati President Taneti Maamau.

The Approved Destination Status (ADS) is the arrangement between the Chinese Government and the Government of Kiribati to let Chinese holiday travelers visit Kiribati in a tour group. The ADS give TAK the permission to promote Kiribati as a holiday destination in China and presents Kiribati with the opportunity to grow tourism accordingly.

The China Outbound Tourism market continues to enjoy year on year growth recording 63.1 million international outbound trips in 2019. Such growth is fueled by the increase in disposable personal income, waiving of visa requirements into selected countries and the growing desire by Chinese nationals to travel the world. The Chinese outbound market also spends generously, and forecasts indicate global Chinese tourism spending to exceed US$163 billion by 2024.

As a small Pacific island destination, TAK is optimistic that with adequate tourism infrastructure development, the Chinese visitor market can drive tourism revenue growth and create new employment opportunities for Kiribati.

Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) Chief Executive Officer, Petero Manufolau says the “growth from the China market will be based on a sustainable low volume, high value holiday experience promoting the unique cultures, diverse marine life, the laid-back lifestyle in the islands and its people”.

Manufolau adds that Air Kiribati’s new Embraer E190 jets which are scheduled to commence international services from March 2020 will also play an important role in helping facilitate growth of its China international visitor market.

To prepare the destination for the Chinese market, TAK has commenced discussions and work on the adoption of a national China-Ready training programme, tourism investment opportunities portfolio, Chinese tour operator product training and destination marketing initiatives to raise awareness of Kiribati in China.

Kiribati is made up of 33 islands situated in the heart of the Pacific where the equator and the international datelines meet. Kiribati is the only country in the world positioned in all four hemisphere’s – northern, southern, eastern and western hemispheres.

Tarawa is home to the country’s main international airport (TRW) and is serviced by direct flights from Nadi, Fiji (NAN), Nauru (INU), Funafuti, Tuvalu (FUN), Honiara, Solomon Islands (HIR), Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands (MAJ) and Brisbane, Australia (BNE).

Kiritimati or Christmas Island (CXI) on the eastern side of the country is serviced by a weekly flight from Nadi, Fiji (NAN) and Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL).

Accommodation options include hotels, guesthouses, bungalows and traditional buias. Tarawa (South and North) and Kiritimati host most of the accommodation whilst the outer islands feature traditional community and council run rest homes and privately-run lodges.

SOURCE:Tourism Authority of Kiribati/PACNEWS

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