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Token of appreciation

Monika Singh
Saturday, August 12, 2017

THE South Pacific Tourism Organisation presented a token of appreciation to the outgoing ambassador of the European Union Andrew Jacobs this week.

A media statement from SPTO yesterday said their CEO Chris Cocker presented a gift to Mr Jacobs for the appreciation for the EU's ongoing support towards SPTO.

Mr Cocker reflected on the history of the partnership between SPTO and the EU dating back to the early 1980s when the founding members had come together to set up the then Tourism Council of the South Pacific.

"The countries came together to also find access to funding as a regional organisation and the EU was the first donor to support and fund its regional program under Lome 1 and 2 conventions," Mr Cocker said.

Mr Cocker said the gift represented respect, appreciation as well as reconciliation and was symbolic of the long standing relationship between the EU and SPTO.

"The tapa is of great significance to many of our Pacific Island cultures. This is a Tongan tapa but it is presented to represent the Pacific Tourism Industry. The tapa celebrates and recognises Pacific women's skills, art and craft, culture and shares our history and stories. We specifically thank you Ambassador Jacobs for your friendship and commitment to SPTO and the Pacific Tourism Industry" Mr Cocker said.

"We look to keeping this partnership and friendship between the EU and SPTO and wish you and your family all the very best on your new endeavour and that you will continue to support tourism in the Pacific region."

Mr Jacobs leaves Fiji in September after completing a four-and-half-year term serving the Pacific region.

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