THE South Pacific TourismOrganisation (SPTO) says national and regional pageants give recognition to young Pacific Island women and their contributions to regional affairs across diverse fields.
SPTO Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocker said this when his team welcomed and hosted Miss Pacific Islands 2016, Anne Christine Dunn to a luncheon at the SPTO office in Suva yesterday.
MsDunn, who is also Miss Fiji 2016 was recently crowned the overall winner at the 30th Miss Pacific Islands pageant last week in Apia, Samoa.
Samoa hosted the weeklong pageantwith Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) serving as the event’s secretariat.
The pageant’s return to the Polynesian island nation was a fitting one given that the Samoan Government established and hosted the Pacific’s first ever pageant 30 years ago.
Established as the Miss South Pacific Islands Pageant in 1987, the pageant was officially renamed and re-launched in 2014 as the ‘Miss Pacific Islands Pageant’ in order to reflect participation from the broader Pacific region.
Eight Pacific Island beauties from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Samoa competed in this year’s event.
He added, “Events such as Miss Pacific Islands uniquely promote the region and its holiday destinations as well as encourage the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market.The Pacific’s tourism assets are its people, environment and culture; and pageants serve as a unique platform to celebrate these assets.”
SPTO, as the leading regional body for tourism promotion, will continue to support national and regional pageants that celebrate cultural diversity, promote our idyllic Pacific destinations, and contribute to foreign exchange earnings of the host country by attracting overseas-based Pacific Islanders to return to the region to attend and be part of suchevents.
“Miss Pacific Islands would be a great addition to our tourism promotion initiatives in 2017 and we are definitely keen to explore these opportunities with Anne, whilst working within her priorities for next year”, said SPTO Marketing Manager Alisi Lutu.
Miss Pacific Islands 2016 Anne Dunn is championing awareness on climate change and tourism in the Pacific, with a special focus on young women and youths.
Anne Christine Dunn
Based in Suva, SPTO works with 16 Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste to market and develop tourism in the South Pacific region.