Five Pacific Islanders gets US fellows

US Embassy public affairs officer Rebecca Archer-Knepper (second from left) with (L-R) Apisalome Movono, Ratu Tebana, Rosena Ali and Sera Arieta Vulaono. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIVE Pacific Islanders are recipients of the United States Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows Program.

In a press statement released by the US Embassy this week, the three Fijians and two i-Kiribati nationals will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, for an intensive six-week program designed to build capacity and professional bonds between industry leaders in the US and Pacific.

The recipients are — Treasure Island Resort reservations and revenue manager Rosena Ali, University of the South Pacific Tourism Studies lecturer Apisalome Movono, Fiji Airways Global Brand & Content manager Sera Vulaono, Kiribati National Tourism Office tourism officer Kiarake Karuaki and Kiribati National Tourism Office senior tourism officer Ratu Tebana.

“This program affords promising young professionals the opportunity to gain practical, professional experience in the United States and share their experiences with the host organisations,” said US Embassy Suva public affairs officer Rebecca Archer-Knepper when she met the fellows.

“The fellows will promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership, and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships across the region.

“We are looking for more people to apply for the next iteration of the Professional Fellows Program.”

The program will draw broadly and deeply upon Hawaii’s unique position as a part of the US with one of the world’s premier tourism industries.

It is designed to build capacity across the Pacific region by creating strong and enduring connections between 32 mid-level Professional Fellows from 13 Pacific Island countries and numerous Hawaii-based US citizens in private and public tourism-related organisations.

The program is funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the East West Center in Hawaii.

The Professional Fellows Program will be accepting applications between now and November 30, 2018, from participants of 13 Pacific Island nations on the theme of economic empowerment, with an emphasis on tourism.

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