Travel Blackboard - Asia's No. 1 Travel Newsletter, 20 November 2009
The central Pacific's Republic of Kiribati Government has today launched an ambitious 5 year action plan to attract more tourism to its shores and to foreshadow the Government's intentions to prioritise tourism as a key industry for its nation's economy that will support distribution of wealth and providing employment, according to the Minister for Communications, Transport and Tourism Development, Hon. Temate Ereateiti
"The action plan is a bold move by the Government to say publicly and proudly that Kiribati is going to do its best to welcome more travellers from around the world to our country,? and that we are going to prioritise areas such as infrastructure and private sector growth to help nurture tourism,
"The plan focuses on building infrastructure (especially cruise shipping on Kiritimati and Fanning Islands), Private Sector Development with a special focus on both the Line and Phoenix Group of Islands, Gilbert Islands Outer Island projects, reform of regulations, taxation and legislation, education and training and aviation access", Hon. Temate Ereateiti? said.
The cornerstone of the Action Plan is Kiribati's move to attract low number, high yield travellers in the special interest areas of fishing, cruise shipping, and to tap into those world travellers who want to get off the tourism trail and experience a culture that has changed very little in centuries, according to the Head of the Kiribati National Tourism Office, Mr Tarataake Teannaki.
"We are not going to pretend to be something we are not.? We don't intend to be a tourism destination with mass market resorts, shopping arcades or 5 star hotels.
"Want we do want is to remain true to Kiribati, its culture and its people and provide real and raw experiences that visitors will remember for the rest of their lives.? If you are looking for fluffy towels and swim up bars I would recommend that you look elsewhere.
We want to be an elusive destination that is off the tourism trail with our 5 year target for visitation just 10,000 people, Mr Teannaki said.
The Government has also announced today that the Tourism Strategy will be spearheaded by an implementation taskforce made up of Kiribati Government officials who will project manage the delivery of the action plan over the next five years.
"Tourism is part of our country's future and the Government is going to make sure we take every opportunity in building a strong and sustainable tourism industry for our future economic prosperity, Hon. Temate Ereateiti? concluded.