26 October, 2010

PT&I and SPTO partner to launch exciting new website!

WIN A TRIP TO SAMOA!

www.lonelyplanet.com/pacificislands is the newest and most exciting location on the internet for anyone interested in adventurous, cultural or nature based travel.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I), in cooperation with Lonely Planet, are bringing a fresh and exciting perspective to Pacific travel.   Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel content provider, will, via a new Pacific Islands website, offer travellers access to unique destinations and experiences in 16 Pacific destinations.  From 1 October 2010, travellers have now been able to access all the latest information on the site.

All16 Pacific Island nations are sharing their Ultimate Destinations with the site and also offering travellers a chance to win a holiday to the many Pacific Island paradises.
 
Lonely Planet author Brett Atkinson explored the region to create content specifically for the Pacific Islands website. Like all Lonely Planet authors, Brett is an independent, dedicated traveller who visits every destination he writes about..
 
In addition to extensive travel information, www.lonelyplanet.com/pacificislands features impressive prize packages kindly sponsored by leading airlines, accommodation providers, tour operators and National Tourism Offices in the region. Prizes include flights and/or accommodation to scenic and exotic Pacific locations such as the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, and Vanuatu.

The region’s many airlines offer a fantastic service and they have also been enthusiastic about assisting travellers into the largely English-speaking region.

The South Pacific region is filled with outstanding attractions. These enchanting islands and beautiful people have for hundreds of years stirred the mind and excited the imagination of the adventurous traveller. Each of the countries that make up the Pacific has its own special and individual allure. SPTO and PT&I are hoping to reveal these unique destinations to a new audience and offer an insight into the deep sense of culture and traditional beliefs including music, dance and traditional customs and to highlight the Pacific as a natural adventure Mecca: surfing, diving, fishing, sailing, trekking, swimming with whales, shark callers – to name a few of the attractions. Pacific holidays are value for money, close to home and offer a clean, green experience full of diversity and adventure.

PT&I’s Sydney Trade Commissioner, Caleb Jarvis:
This extensive campaign was originally sparked by the 2009 Samoan Tsunami disaster. We had staff on the ground in Samoa when the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck and the following devastation drove a message deep into everyone watching, including us.  The Pacific Islands rely heavily on its tourism industry and this tragedy motivated us to be more strategic in focusing our resources and programs to assist local tourism operators, be they accommodation providers, tourism operators or associated industries.
 
After a period of concentrated research and discussion with stakeholders and advisors we found a key component to the Pacific’s tourism marketing as a whole was missing. The Pacific is poorly represented in the growing backpacker, Fully Independent Traveller (FIT) and soft adventure markets due to under representation on high traffic web based accommodation portals and through major outbound travel wholesalers. Concerted information gathering resulted in a FIT focussed tourism marketing campaign featuring web aggregators and niche tourism operators in cooperation with the destination’s National Tourism Offices all partnering in an online marketing campaign.

Our approach is twofold. Firstly we will work with stakeholders and tourism operators to increase the amount of PIC tourism ready stock available on these accommodation booking websites. Secondly, we will support promotions and targeted digital marketing campaigns utilising websites, blogs, social networking and other communication platforms to access the lucrative FIT market in Australia and NZ.