LATTE editor, Madeline Hoskin, has freshly returned from a trip to New Caledonia, a destination that is currently reinvigorating its approach to tourism. Along with a number of other wholesalers, agents and media from Australian and New Zealand, she primarily retreated to its magnificent blue waters, white sands and French-infused cuisine to attend the first Rendezvous Workshop.
The Rendezvous Workshop was held in the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, with the group welcomed warmly with traditional Melanesian singing and dancing as well as an authentic customary gesture (the exchanging of gifts). This setting provided the ideal place in which suppliers and wholesalers could make face-to-face introductions, expanding knowledge on the area and future working partnerships. As such, agents can look forward to an increasing number of itineraries taking in the delights of New Caledonia.
New Caledonia Tourism’s sales and marketing director, Caroline Brunel, said Australians and Kiwis love visiting New Caledonia as it’s so close, yet a world away. This has been reflected in the first three months of 2015 visitor figures which are up 41.1 per cent for Australians and 52.5 per cent for New Zealand, compared to the respective months in 2014.
“The destination has received strong interest and investment from several globally renowned brands including the Hilton Noumea La Promenade Residences in 2013 and the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa last year.”
The week-long celebrations saw pre and post famils for product managers and travel trade, with itineraries including activities across the island paradise, covering the Northern, the Southern and the Loyalty Islands provinces. LATTE was fortunate to experience first hand the tourism focused delights of the Isle of Pines, Noumea and the southern part of Grand Terre (the main island).
Le Meridien Noumea was the primary accommodation base, and the luxury hotel is (invisibly) in the midst of a truly grand makeover. LATTE have tested the new rooms, and can report that the comfort, luxury details and facilities have been superbly redone to make this hotel one of the finest places to stay in the country.
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