PT&I-SPTO project boosts regional hotels’ digital presence

19/07/2012

With the launch of an innovative programme sponsored by Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) and South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), Pacific Island hoteliers across Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tonga, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati are now benefiting from a special suite of products and services for accommodations.<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_3528" align="alignright" width="279" caption="Marketing &amp; Online Distribution Workshops at Edgewater Resort And Spa, Rarotonga Cook Islands. Photo / PT&amp;I"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hotel-Link-Solutions-Cook-Islands.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3528" title="Hotel Link Solutions - Cook Islands" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hotel-Link-Solutions-Cook-Islands.jpg" alt="" width="279" height="199" /></a>[/caption]

Hotel Link Solutions, a digital-marketing services provider for the accommodation industry, is implementing the programme in these countries. The programme is designed to improve the online presence of as many small and medium-sized accommodations as possible in the region by providing them with a professional e-commerce enabled website or room-reservation widget that allows for the instant processing of bookings. The new websites are also optimised for third-party distribution if any hotels wish to sell their rooms via a selection of 40 online travel agencies.

“The trend of using brochures and talking is over now,” says Father Henry Teho, the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau chairman. “The Bureau wants the local tourism operators to have their own web sites so the hotels control their own inbound promotions.”

Workshops led by Hotel Link Solutions consultants instruct local hoteliers across the Pacific Islands about the benefits of an improved online presence. Presentations and orientations include photo shoots and digital-content collection sessions at the hotels to assist with the development of hotel websites or booking widgets inserted into existing websites. After on-site information collection, the website creation process is handled by the Hotel Link Solutions team.

The series of instructional programmes began in Tonga, where many of the hoteliers are already seeing the benefits of their newly launched web sites. Additional workshops and hotel website construction have been completed in the Cook Islands, Fiji and Kiribati. More seminars have been scheduled over the next month in other countries.

In a later phase of the programme, a heavy emphasis is to be placed on best practices in social media. Hoteliers will be equipped with Facebook pages that have integrated booking widgets and optimised TripAdvisor listings.

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