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For years, travel agencies have wheeled out itineraries of “farniente” holidays to the Islands of Tahiti almost solely for newlyweds, whose “oohs and ahhs” when pawing over glossy brochures sporting over-water bungalows have been sure-fire weapons in selling the destination in this way.
That’s changing. In the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism, and its destination marketing organisation, Tahiti Tourisme, have been hard at work to create a new image – or brand for French Polynesia.
A harmonised and concerted plan has been rolling out since 2015, aimed at diversifying the perception of the tourism offering, while better coordinating and adding professionalism to a broad range of local actors.
In terms of global positioning, a choice has been made to continue targeting the very high end, while also diversifying in areas such as “homestay”, with an emphasis on outdoor activities. By underlining culture and nature as assets, French Polynesia is putting its best foot forward as a socio-environmentally sustainable destination.
Key assets include breath-taking natural beauty, authenticity, patrimony, human contacts, culture and outdoor activities. Security, natural riches, diversity of sporting activities and quality of the hospitality offering are all major drawcards.
Efforts are being made to attract tourists from new source markets such as Australia and Latin America, not to mention China. Further investment is constantly being sought in the hospitality market, whose limits are currently among the key braking factors to growth. By the same token, more low-season tourism is being encouraged in order to take advantage of the current stock of rooms.
This SMARTguide aims to give travel professionals a succinct and synthetic overview of “how to sell” the Islands of Tahiti. It must be noted that Tahiti Tourisme has a number of exceptionally well compiled and presented documents to assist you in more detailed planning, and their personnel are always available to help travel professionals and the public alike in preparing travel to this beautiful and astounding destination.
We hope you will find this guide useful, and that it may contribute to facilitating your clients’ decision-making process when it comes to choosing holiday destinations.
Richard Barnes Editor-in-Chief Cleverdis