The Pacific island territory of New Caledonia is expecting to see an increase in visitors to its shores following the completion of several major tourism developments.
The island has recently experienced a strong rise in tourist arrivals, with a record total of 111,875 international travellers visiting the country in 2011, led by strong demand from Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
But this figure is set to climb even higher in the years to come, as New Caledonia enters – as its tourism board put it – “a new era”, with the addition of new facilities and infrastructure.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has already established itself in New Caledonia, with two Le Meridien properties in Noumea and on the Isle of Pines. And it also plans to launch its Sheraton brand in the territory this year, with the opening of the 180-room Sheraton Deva Golf Resort & Spa in December 2013. In addition, Hilton Worldwide will take control of the 154-room Résidence La Promenade hotel in July 2013, marking its entry into New Caledonia.
The island’s aviation sector has also received a boost, with the upgrade of its main airport. Major renovation work has been completed at La Tontouta International Airport, with the development of a new departure lounge and a second check-in hall, plus a new duty free store. Serving the airport will be New Caledonia’s national carrier, Aircalin, which is revamping the cabins of its Airbus A330 aircraft, including new in-flight entertainment systems and flatbed seats in business class.
Finally, to draw more international visitors to New Caledonia, the country’s largest inbound operator, Arc En Ciel Voyages, has opened its share capital to hotel operators and other institutions in New Caledonia, as well as French Polynesia’s Tahiti Nui Voyages.
Located 1,21km east of Australia, New Caledonia is approximately half the size of Taiwan and has a coastline stretching 2,254km.