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A new era for New Caledonia: Pacific island territory lands on tourists’ radars

Tourism isn’t exactly lacking in the Pacific Island territory of New Caledonia: strong demand from Australia, New Zealand and Japan was the driving force behind a recent rise in international arrivals, with a record total of 111,875 tourists visiting the country in 2011.

Interest is already on an upward trend, but following the completion of several major tourist attractions, the archipelago is expecting a further flurry of interest. According to the island territory’s tourism board, New Caledonia is poised to enter a “new era”, with the addition of new facilities and improved infrastructure set to push tourism levels even higher.

With two Le Meridien properties in Noumea and on the Isle of Pines, Starwood Hotels & Resorts is already an established chain in the island territory. However, it also plans to launch its Sheraton brand there this year, marking the move with the introduction of the 180-room Sheraton Deva Golf Resort & Spa in December 2013. Hilton Worldwide is also poised to stake its claim on New Caledonia, with the well-known chain scheduled to take control of the 154-room Résidence La Promenade hotel in July 2013.

The main airport has been revamped, in a bid to catch tourists’ eyes. Major renovation work has been completed at La Tontouta International Airport, which now has a new departure lounge, a second check-in hall and a new duty free store. New Caledonia’s national carrier, Aircalin, has also been treated to a radical overhaul, with the business class cabins of its Airbus A330 now including in-flight entertainment systems and flatbed seats.

Located 1,21km east of Australia, New Caledonia is about half the size of Taiwan and boasts a breathtaking coastline that stretches 2,254km. Would you spend your vacation somewhere that is only just emerging as a tourist destination? Or would you rather holiday in a well-known resort?

Wherever you choose to go on holiday this year, remember to take out a travel insurance policy before jetting off to foreign climes.

Date Created: 27 February 2013

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