SPTO appoint Marcus Lee as China Chief Representative

Suva, FIJI – 20 AUGUST 2018: The South Pacific Tourism Organisation has signed an MOU of partnership with CBISN Services and announced the appointment of its CEO, Mr. Marcus Lee as the SPTO China Chief Representative.

The MOU is a result of talks amongst SPTO Pacific Island member countries on the growing interests in the China travel market and that of the management of sustainable tourism growth out of China into the Pacific Island countries (PICs).

The objective of SPTO in China is to increase and strengthen exchanges through tourism, business and investment between its 17 member countries and China. China is SPTO’s 18th Government member and sits on its Board as a development partner.

China has been the fastest growing emerging tourism market globally and for the Pacific, China has risen significantly and peaked to 153,119 arrivals in 2015 from 88,915 in 2014 (a 72.2% surge) whilst in 2017, Chinese arrivals to the region dropped to 143,014. Chinese arrivals to the Pacific Islands has notably slowed down in the recent two years since its peak in 2015.

CBISN CEO, Mr. Marcus Lee

SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker said the influence of the outbound China Travel market has been extremely significant and has rapidly transitioned the global tourism industry. He added that this partnership between SPTO and CBISN Services will focus on working together to promote and create tourism development opportunities with the China market, in a manner that is both sustainable and brings economic growth and social benefits to the region.

“My vision for SPTO in China is to create awareness, increase communication, promote the region, create friendly links and exchanges among its 17 countries to China’s Outbound Travel and Investment markets” said Marcus Lee.

Lee is credited for creating the world’s first ‘China Ready’ program in 2002, formerly known as ‘Doing business with China’. This program was launched in 43 countries and recognized by UNION PAY, one of the largest credit card companies with networks in over 162 countries.

This partnership will also complement ongoing cooperation between SPTO and the Pacific Islands Trade Invest Office (Beijing) whom currently collaborate on tourism marketing and promotional programmes in China.

Marcus Lee is currently CEO of Welcome China (CBISN), largest marketing agency promoting destination and incoming service providers to China outbound tourism and investment. Welcome China maintains 15 offices in China and the Asia region.