Exotic Tropical Islands Of The South Pacific

With long haul travel no longer such an attractive option for Australian and New Zealand residents, due to the world financial crisis, it is time to turn and take a good hard look at the largely under-sung tropical island South Pacific nations, as the adventure travel destination of 2009. Every tropical island has its own individual and particular attraction, but a quick overview may assist the discerning traveler to make a well balanced travel {{{decision |choice}}.
1.Papua New Guinea still appears to have a 6 � 7% economic growth despite I in spite of the globall financial crisis.
2.Solomon Islands has one of the highest population growth records in the area, also had the highest economic growth of over 10% in 2007. It {{{appears |is}} strongly placed to continue this trend into 2009.
3.The Asian Development Bank is {{{forecasting } forecasting |predicting}}} a slowdown in growth for Vanuatu for 2009, though tourism is booming, because of the greatly increased air services from from Air New Zealand, Solomon Airlines, Pacific Blue, Air Pacific and Air Vanuatu. It is reported that countries that offer tax-haven facilities appear to be more able to hold up against the {{[world |global}}} financial crisis.
4.Fiji, under the leadership of military strongman and coup leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama could be in for a rough 2009 with the threat of an election. Bainimarama, with his military-led regime is fervently determined to smash the country�s coup culture, with a burning driving force to {{[alter |change}}} the election laws of the nation, before the voters go to the poll.
5.Samoa is the only South Pacific nation that is not grappling with poor leadership, corruption and instability, under the 11 year long leader, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi. Though vastly unpopular, the Prime Minister has pulled off the unpopular decision to change the road code from driving on the right, to driving on the left. Almost single-handedly Tuilaepa pushed the alteration through parliament.
6.The Cook Islands use New Zealand currency, so the nation may not find it is as protected from the global financial downturn as other South Pacific nations. The rapid rise in tourism may be the Cook Island�s means of salvation.
7.Due to Niue�s severe lack of cash, New Zealand advanced $1 million for jet fuel, to ferry delegates to the annual Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Niue, in August 2008. The need for this never eventuated and now Niue has to work out how to get rid of a million dollars worth of jet fuel.
8.Australia is still committed to rescuing Nauru, after many years of financial disregard, from bankruptcy, is forced to invest nearly Au$1000 per capita each year into the island nation. Fiji is promising to sign a regional air-services agreement with Nauru�s Our Airline, may assist the tiny tropical island nation.
9.Tuvaluuses the Australian dollar as currency, may find itself more exposed to the financial global crisis than some of its neighbours. Finally it appears Apisai Ielemia may prove the {{[exemption |exception}}} to the constant removal of prime ministers by no confidence votes. Ielemia has remained unchallenged since taking office in August 14, 2006. The tiny nation of Tuvalu has played a giant role in climate change talks, through Australian-based Dr Ian Fry.
10.Asian Development Bank and international donors are deeply anxious about the financial status of Kiribati, with its constant draw-downs from the country�s reserve funds, which are invested offshore. A more prudent approach by the government, toward spending, is needed immediately. The country�s deteriorating infrastructure and overcrowding in urban developments, are Kiribati�s other major problems.
11.French Polynesia has experienced 8 governments in the last four years. Gaston Tong Sang is clutching to keep power, with only a one seat majority. Tourism is expected be in for a huge downturn through the global economy in shreds.
12.New Caledonia�s economy has achieved a huge boost {{{because of } because of |through}}} the new US$4 billion Koniambo nickel mine. There are whispers that the seat of power could be relocated from Paris to Noumea.
13.One of the smallest nations, with its two kings as co-rulers, Wallis and Futuna will experience hardly any change in 2009.
14.Guam has seen the relocation of the US military base from Okinawa, Japan, to this South Pacific tropical island. Some 8000 troops are to be stationed there. Infrastructure alone is estimated to cost US$15 billion, stretching across the next decade, in a joint undertaking between the Japanese and United States governments. However the {{{world |global downturn appears to have slowed down this process.
15.Northern Marianas is facing the possibility of an erosion of up to 44% of its GDP according to a recent study. The status of 10,000 Filipino workers may be affected by the alterations to the immigration system. Because of recessionary trends in both Japan and South Korea, tourist numbers are expected to drop.
16.If Palau loses its US$70 million aid Itwill not have the ability to meet its 2009 budget. This combined with the down turn in Japanese tourists, could make Palau create with its own financial strategies.
17.The Marshall Islands had hoped for some spin off from the US military base in Guam. This may not happen as quickly as many had hoped. Environmental and overcrowding issues remain the major issues.
So you have seventeen exotic, exciting and very individual holiday destinations right on your doorstep. Perhaps 2009 is your year of discovering the magic of the South Pacific. 

by Sternberg-Tendys Wendy

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