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A group of Australian wholesalers had the great opportunity to explore Australia’s closest neighbour, New Caledonia last week as part of the tourism board’s Rendez-Vous Workshop 2023.

New Caledonia Tourism and the national carrier Aircalin hosted a group of Australian wholesalers during the workshop on the 10th of November alongside wholesalers from New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and France. In addition to the B2B event, the attendees were treated to famil activities during the week leading up to the workshop giving them the opportunity to personally experience this little French slice of paradise.

The workshop took place on the island of Lifou, which is the largest of the Loyalty Islands and is mostly known for its crystal white beaches, dramatic cliffs and as the first island in the area to produce vanilla. During the day, approximately 35 wholesalers from the five different markets took part in speed dating-style meetings with around 45 local industry partners. The group were treated to a delicious lunch true to the Melanesian mix of culinary offerings of the destination followed by aperitifs and a show with a traditional Kanak dance performance.

The rest of the week included site visits to a range of resorts and hotels in the destinations, including the soon-to-be-opened Intercontinental Lifou Wadra Bay Resort, Paradis d’Ouvea hotel, Chateau Royal Hotel and Hilton Noumea.

The group located in Brisbane and Sydney stayed at Le Meridien Noumea Resort & Spa, Sheraton Deva Resort, and Oasis de Kiamu, and enjoyed dinners and lunches such as at the overwater bungalow restaurant Le Roof and L’Entrecote, which is the only revolving restaurant showing a panoramic view of Noumea. The group also had the opportunity to explore Noumea and its history during a city tour and a day basking in the lagoon during a snorkelling tour in Poé in Bourail.

New Caledonia Tourism is wrapping up an incredible year, where the destination has welcomed a record number of tourists from Australia and is on track to beat its pre-pandemic numbers for the year 2023. Australian travellers increased by 16.5% compared to 2019 (January – September) and Australia is the second largest market after Metropolitan France. In 2019, 25,907 Australians travelled to New Caledonia by air whereas there have been 21,670 travellers so far in 2023.

This increase can be attributed to the concerted efforts of New Caledonia Tourism and its constant support of the trade industry in Australia and the New Caledonian partners.

“Australians continue to show that despite the recent difficult years, nothing is stopping them from travelling. By inviting our valued partners in Australia and showcasing this incredible destination, they can create tailored itineraries for their clients to find out what makes this destination such a hotspot for travellers and why it should be on everyone’s travel list for 2024,” Rebecca Marchal, Account Director for New Caledonia Tourisme Australia said about the workshop.

New Caledonia is Australia’s next-door neighbour (less than 3 hours from Sydney, 2 hours from Brisbane, 3,5 hours from Melbourne which is restarting on 8th December). An amazing archipelago and holiday destination thanks to its combination of unique Melanesian culture, exotic South Pacific charm, and cosmopolitan French chic. Surrounded by the largest lagoon in the world that has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Caledonia is famous for its variety of landscapes, cultures, activities, and unique biodiversity.