The tremendously successful Kosrae Tourism Conference organized by Kosrae Visitors Bureau ended its final day, Wednesday, June 24 on a positive note: The discussions were open and frank resulting in the establishment of two ongoing committees, a Kosrae Island Branding Committee and a Cultural Heritage and Cultural Outreach (CHACO Committee) as well as numerous projects.
Over 60 participants, including KVB staff, hoteliers, tour operators, handicraft workers, clergy, Chamber of Commerce representatives, Kosrae State officials, educators, David Kendell (Continental Director of Sales and Marketing for the Pacific and Asia) and Bermance Aldis (Deputy Assistant Secretary FSM Department of R&D), performed a SWOT analysis of the Kosrae Tourism industry, discussed cultural and landowners issues as well as branding strategy.
The Speaker of the 8th Kosrae State Legislature, the Honorable Lyndon Jackson provided the keynote address for the conference. Speaker Jackson spoke convincingly about the need for developing partnership between the public and private sectors to strengthen the industry with limited resources available. The Speaker also emphasized that the conference is a great opportunity for private sector to share their views in an open dialogue with the government.
The morning sessions of the first day of the conference began with presentations developed by the Kosrae Visitors Bureau, members of the KVB Board of Directors and Continental Micronesia represented by Mr. David Kendell. These presentations provided conference attendees with a deeper insight of tourism & airline services, activities performed by KVB, the current situation and challenges surrounding tourism in general.
A panel of government and private sector speakers including Mr. David Kendell, Kosrae Station manager Mr. Moses Thompson, Mr. Bermance Aldis and Mr. Grant Ismael discussed the range of programs available to promote the sector, as well as taking questions from the other participants.
Following morning plenary session the afternoon breakout sessions addressed the following areas: a tourism SWOT analysis, Branding development, Cultural and Landowners issues. They shared stories of their success, serious issues facing them, and illustrating some of the challenges.
The breakout groups finalized their findings the second morning of the conference, producing recommendations and projects.
Following the plenary session where these findings were reported Mrs. Kenye Livaie, Acting Chair for the KVB Board Directors, offered closing remarks for the conference, thanking the leaders of the state, and the members of Kosrae tourism private sector who had taken time to attend the conference, most importantly, the sponsors who have made it possible.
According to Grant Ismael, chairman of 2009 Tourism Conference task force; “The conference was one of the significant highlights of Kosrae tourism’s industry in 2009. The success was due to the work of the task force and the participation of the Kosrae tourism industry stakeholders. I would like to extend special thanks to our consultant Mr. Tilson Kephas and Task force members, Kenye Livaie, Katrina Adams, Skiller Jackson, Kiaru Tilfas, Doug Beitz, and Arthur Jonas”. The two day conference was sponsored by Continental Micronesia, Bank of FSM, Kosrae Chamber of Commerce, Australian Embassy, US Embassy, FSM Development Bank and JICA Alumni.