- By Pacific island Times News Staff
Kiribati prepares for growing cruise market
Fanning Cruise photo courtesy of TAK
Tarawa-- Kiribati is preparing for the international cruise ship visitation in 2020 following the latest confirmation from the MS Hanseatic to include the island of Abemama in the Gilbert islands in its November itinerary.
Likewise, Kanton, in the Phoenix island is also scheduled to host its first cruise ship in a while when in welcomes the MS Europa in March 2020. Phoenix is home to the Phoenix Island Protected Area, the world’s largest Marine Protected Area and is currently only available to researchers and a handful of anglers.
Other cruise liners scheduled to call into Kiribati include the MS Oosterdam, MS. Maasdam, and the MS Rotterdam and their stops include Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in the Line islands, and Butaritari and Abemama in the Gilbert islands.
To prepare the islands for these visits, the Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) in collaboration with key stakeholders will begin product development, tour guiding and other tourism business and hospitality training as part of its cruise preparedness program.
Petero Manufolau, CEO of Tourism Authority of Kiribati, said “medium to large cruise ships have the potential to frequent Kiribati due to the nation’s geographic location between North America and the South Pacific and the undiscovered and ideal tropical settings each of the Kiribati islands offer”.
These visits, he added, will give the islanders the opportunity to share a part of their culture and traditional lifestyle with their visitors and help generate increased economic activity through the sale of handicraft and souvenir, tours and excursions.
The 33 islands of the Republic of Kiribati is situated in the heart of the Pacific where the equator and the international datelines meet. Kiribati is therefore the only country in the work to be positioned in all 4 hemisphere’s – northern, southern, eastern and western hemispheres.
Tarawa is home to the country’s main international airport and is serviced by direct flights from Nadi, Fiji, Nauru, Funafuti, Tuvalu, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands and Brisbane, Australia.
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