The Professionals’ Viewpoint

What do some of the world’s top travel professionals think of ongoing tourism initiatives concerning The Islands of Tahiti?


GINA DUNNETT
Director, Product Development & Travel Experience, GoBe.com – Miami, USA

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French Polynesia is much more than over-the-water bungalows. We now immerse the traveller into the culture as well as its ocean sanctuary, offering a true appreciation of the differences between the islands. It is on everyone’s bucket list of destinations to visit, but now, it’s becoming the place you wish to return to over and over again. With its focus on sustainable tourism, it’s guaranteed to be loved by our children and their grandchildren and beyond.
The local tour operators and their staff are the keys to experiential excursions. They offer truly authentic and rich experiences not found elsewhere. The resident guides and tour staff are genuinely delighted to share French Polynesia with all visitors and welcome them warmly.


FLORENCE SPITZLI
Product Manager / “Tiare” French Polynesia Certified Agent, Stohl-Air Travel Ltd. – Geneva, Switzerland

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Specialist tour operators always require specific, detailed information in order to carry out their job properly. For example, in France, the “Tiare” training is a major asset for sales forces, and it would be great if this could also be brought back to Switzerland. Polynesia is a “safe” destination – free of terrorism and natural disasters, and remote – a factor that has always contributed to its myth. It is also a destination that has a large number of assets that should be better known, such as the culture, traditions, fabulous beaches, nature and sports. Ecotourism, UNESCO World Heritage status and new campaigns are all contributing to a growth in tourist numbers. The opening of new air links will engender an augmentation in the offering of hotels and pensions, in particular homestay, in the sense of a greater human/nature relationship, which the destination wishes to develop. The financial convention that has just been signed in Brussels will also assist the destination in its strategy of transmitting its cultural patrimony, while pushing each actor to do their all to preserve the environment.


JAANA CHAN
Product Director APAC, Hotelplanner.com and Meetings.com – Hong Kong

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In the past, French Polynesia wasn’t always top of mind for those planning group or incentive travel, due to the remoteness of the location and the perceived premium pricing of its product.
This is rapidly changing however, especially due to what we see as being a very proactive effort on the part of the destination’s tourism authorities when it comes to creating a shift in attitudes among the travelling public.

More and more excellent reasons are emerging for incentive groups to travel to this absolutely amazing, breath-taking place, and what’s exceptional is the fact that sustainability is more than ever at the heart of the concerns of all the travel and tourism stakeholders of the Islands of Tahiti.
Hats are off to Tahiti Tourisme and the Ministry for their great work – and in helping us with ours!