PT&I’s Market Access project for small business
Pacific Islands Trade & Invest jointly with South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), in association with the Cook Islands Tourism Commission is offering the Pacific Islands tourism industry an exciting new programme designed to help SME (small and medium enterprise) tourism operators improve their online marketing and distribution initiatives.<!--more-->
The project aims to get as many SME accommodation providers as possible in the region set up with a professional e-commerce enabled web site able to process bookings instantly, combined with channel management tools to enable third party distribution when needed via sites such as Wotif, Booking.com, Expedia and others.
In a later phase it is planned to supply all participating accommodations with interconnected, booking-capable Facebook pages and enhanced TripAdvisor listings. PT&I and SPTO covered costs for the photo shoot, set-up for the new web sites with booking engine, the channel management and the social media presence.
The programme was launched on April 16 with a workshop in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, led by the implementing consultants, Australian based Hotel Link Solutions, providing training to local tourism operators in online selling and social media. Since then, workshops have also been held in Aitutaki (Cook Islands), Atiu (Cook Islands), Tarawa (Kiribati), and Honiara (Solomon Islands).
Following the workshops, appointments were made with those accommodations interested in participating to visit their properties to assess the market readiness of their property, conduct a photo shoot and collect digital content for the creation of either a new web site (or booking widget that can be inserted into existing websites). All participants will receive a DVD with the photos collected, which you can use for other online and offline promotions, as well as ongoing technical support and training.
The programme is expected to create more than 100 SME accommodation websites across the region this year.