Off site venue behind Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort Off site venue behind Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort Credit: Gecko Evasion, private farm tours and activities

Education s'il vous plait

More education about the variety and quality offered by New Caledonia could benefit Kiwi event managers, and therefore Kiwi corporate and incentive groups.

That’s the message from a local DMC company along with event managers just returned from a five day famil tour of the French/Melanesian Pacific Island country. People don’t know this destination, says David Slabolepszy, New Cal Events Ltd. ‘It’s close to New Zealand, its tropical and it’s French.

Also there is all the rural mountain country and what we call the bushmen (farmers).  Kiwi people who come here are surprised to see the farming, the good beef and the cheeses, the rodeos and the hunting (for deer and pigs).’The famil was co-hosted by Marriott International, New Caledonia Tourism and Air New Zealand.  

Staying first at the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa and Golf Resort, the group explored World Heritage coral reef systems of Poe Lagoon, Deva Domain nature reserve, and the hills and farms of the Bourail region. The group then moved to taste the French flavours and sophistication of capital city Noumea, based at Le Meridian Noumea.

The trip was really helpful, says Jessica Ellis, CIE Events. ’I didn’t know what to expect and Noumea completely exceeded expectations. I was surprised about how much there is to do there, the variety of venues, locations and activities. While Deva is more secluded and further away, there are a few corporate groups who would enjoy that property.

Mai Garcia, GO Conference & Incentive, agrees that Deva would be more suitable for the leisure market, and for smaller corporate groups of maybe 20 to 40. ‘In Noumea, I did like Le Meridian, for example its location in terms of the nearby bars and restaurants that would provide great function options for a lot of the groups we work with, also you have the access to lovely beach places like Duck Island and Amedee Lighthouse.’