Newly Appointed Director of Marketing

Kristin Carlson returns to Tahiti Tourisme North America to oversee marketing initiatives and engage in travel trade and industry outreach.  She will primarily focus on our annual brand advertising campaigns and partner co-op programs, as well as work closely with the Managing Director on strategy and annual marketing plans. While Kristin brings over 20 years of marketing experience in the travel industry, she spent the last 14 months in Northern California at Mering Carson, as global Brand Manager for the agency’s Visit California account with an emphasis on consumer promotions and brand advertising in China, Mexico, the UK and Australia.

In addition to her previous time at Tahiti Tourisme North America, Kristin’s myriad experience includes the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships at Signature Travel Network, and a 13-year tenure at Crystal Cruises in both Marketing and Hotel Operations for the luxury line.  She has also worked for Korean Air and The Fontayne Group.

She has a BA in International Studies and French from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and a Masters in International Business from Pepperdine University (The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management).

Please join us in welcoming Kristin back to the Tahiti Tourisme North America Team! To get in touch with her directly, you can reach her in our office or email her at:

Newly Appointed Trade & Promotions Coordinator

As Trade & Promotions Coordinator, Tekura Kelley will be overseeing the Tahiti Tiare Program®, the official destination specialist program for the Islands of Tahiti.  She will be Tahiti Tourisme North America’s primary liaison with Travel Advisors, and engage with the agent community through promotional events, tradeshows, familiarization trips, network/consortia events, and special events sponsored by Tahiti Tourisme North America, Partners and Travel Advisors.

Raised on the island of Moorea, Tekura is passionate about promoting tourism for her beloved home. Tekura graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in International Business, specialization in Spanish and a minor in French. She has worked for Loews hotels in San Diego and most recently in the San Diego office of Woodward Logistics, based in Guadalajara, Mexico. Tekura is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Please join us in welcoming Tekura to the Tahiti Tourisme North America Team! To get in touch with her directly, you can reach her in our office or email her at:


Online Media Coverage

January 2014

Where To Eat Now In French PolynesiaForbes Travel Guide
Whether you’re searching for that perfect spot to sit while watching the sunset or the best place for poisson cru (Tahiti’s signature cured fish dish), French Polynesia serves some deliciously exotic food experiences.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 96,537

Your Guide To French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Islands – Forbes Travel Guide
Tahiti? Been there. Bora Bora? Done that. Though it’s hard to tire of these well-loved South Pacific destinations, there’s more to French Polynesia than these oft-visited isles.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 96,537

Attitude and Adventure at Bora Bora KXT Ironmana SUP Magazine
Though the Bora Bora Liquid Festival has been going on for more than 12 years, this year marked the first involving international competitors. Several top U.S. athletes were invited, including Jay Wild, Morgan Hoesterey, Jenny Kalmbach, Riggs Napoleon and Brennan Rose.
Click here to view and read more.
February 2014

Motu Teta: Best All-Inclusive Resorts – Men’s Journal
Leave Bora Bora’s all-inclusive resorts to the honeymooners and escape to a villa on Motu Teta, a nine-acre private islet in Tahiti’s remote Tuamotu Archipelago.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 6,385,875

Romance awaits in French Polynesia – mySA
“Paradise is a lot closer than you think. Surprisingly, Tahiti is only an eight-hour nonstop flight from Los Angeles on Air Tahiti Nui,” says Michelle Newman.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month:

Amorous Escapes – Los Angeles Times
Experience sun-kissed South Seas bliss in a luxurious overwater bungalow on a secluded islet at Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa ( in French Polynesia.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 17,782,589

Sean Low and Catherine Giudici Exclusive Honeymoon Photos – Us Weekly
Check out these exclusive photos showing how the newlyweds spent their honeymoon on the romantic island of Bora Bora!
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month:

The best all-inclusive resorts in the world – Yahoo Travel
MOTU TEA • Leave Bora Bora’s all-inclusive resorts to the honeymooners and escape to a villa on Motu Teta, a nine-acre private islet in Tahiti’s remote Tuamotu Archipelago.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 217,002

Top 5 Romantic Tropical Cruises for 2014 – Fodor’s Travel
Couples planning honeymoons and special anniversary vacations almost always consider a trip to Tahiti and all of the Society Islands within the boundaries of French Polynesia. Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Moorea, Raiatea, and Taha’a are just a handful of the gorgeous tropical islands located in the chain.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 2,848,666
March 2014

Enchanting French Polynesia! 50+ Ways This Exotic Paradise Will Seduce You –
Searching for a sun-kissed paradise or just fantasizing about it? Pin French Polynesia, in the South Pacific Ocean, on your dream travel map. Fabled Bali Ha’i will get you high.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 386,457

Find paradise in French Polynesia – Fox News
The 118 islands of French Polynesia, which include Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, are the stuff dreams and bucket lists are made of. Treasured for its exclusivity and remote locale, French Polynesia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: Can you send me the link? Not sure which Fox News

Fall in love with Tahiti along the Route de Monoï – New York Post
You haven’t truly seen color until you’ve been to French Polynesia. This chain of 118 islands is scattered from Manuae to Mangaravea, covers the size of Europe and is surrounded by the gin-clear, sapphire South Pacific and lush green flora.
Circulation: 500,521
Media Value: 50,429.75
Click here to view and read more.
May 2014

The World’s Top 20 Honeymoon Destinations – Brides Magazine
Number one is French Polynesia: Few places on the globe inspire more awe than this group of 118 islands, which include, most famously, the emerald-carpeted outposts of the islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora.
Click here to view and read more.
Unique Visitors Per Month: 5,621,184

Printed Media Coverage

Bridal Guide – January 2014

Expert traveler and managing editor at TravelAge West, Skye Mayring tells the story of her wedding and honeymoon on these idyllic islands.

In her article, Skye shares all the details of planning her legal wedding in the Islands of Tahiti, and share tips with her readers on how to do it.

“To legally wed in Tahiti, all documents, including birth certificates, intention of marriage and the application, must be translated into French and apostatized (authenticated) and sent to the islands,” says Mayring.

Circulation: 151,440
Media Value: 77,508.13
Readership: 530,040
Facebook Followers: 342,781


Islands Magazine – January 2014
“Out of Touch”

Writer and photographer Matthew Miller describes what it’s like to discover an island beyond Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora – the atoll of Rangiroa. “This looks about as away from it all as a resort can get,” says Miller. A beautiful image of Le Sauvage Kia Ora’s beach bungalows is featured in the two page spread with cover mention.

“Life Here: From Bow to Bow”
In this same issue, a two-page spread photo by Jack Hollingsworth captures the beauty of the Bora Bora lagoon, canoe and Tahitian people in shot from above. “I wouldn’t dare stand up in a canoe for this shot. Instead, I used an overwater hut to shoot down on this Four Seasons staffer.”

“In Bora Bora, a canoe carries more than just people,” says Hollingsworth.

Circulation: 200,276
Media Value: 178,453.25
Facebook Followers: 293,102
Unique Visitors Per Month: 332,213

Travel + Leisure Magazine – January 2014
“Dream Beaches”
Written by Shane Mitchell and edited by senior travel editor, Jacqui Gifford, The Brando is described as a resort for “Castaway seekers with a willingness to splurge.”
The piece notes, the 35-villa property will focus on conservation, with an EcoStation, sustainable energy systems, and an organic orchard.

Just 30 miles northeast of Tahiti, the atoll of Tetiaroa has 12 motus (islets) so gorgeous they were once a retreat for Polynesian royalty.

Circulation: 988,648
Media Value: 186,003.00
Readership: 3.4 Million
Unique Visitors Per Month: 11,074,080


Us Weekly Magazine – February 17, 2014
“Honeymoon in Paradise”
“The Bachelor” star, Sean Lowe married his fiancé Catherine Giudici on January 26, 2014 (which aired live on ABC) and then jetted to the Islands of Tahiti for their honeymoon.

Their Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora honeymoon which was featured in an exclusive five-page spread, cover photo and headline, showcased their romantic getaway.

“It’s like something you’d see in the movies,” commented Lowe about the Islands of Tahiti

Circulation: 1,959,784
Readership: 6.9 Million
Media Value: $1,014,872.63
Facebook Followers: 2,543,791

Islands Magazine – March 2014
“Finds on the Ground/ A Hammock in Tahiti”

Photographer Matthew Miller shares his excursion to Motu Mahana off Taha’a to find a beautiful and private island with a feast arranged by the Paul Gauguin crew and a hammock waiting just for him.

Circulation: 200,276
Media Value: 37,663.5


Departures Magazine – May/June 2014

“Brando’s Lost Island”

Thanks to the amazing PR efforts of The Brando, this article, written by Ned Zeman, tells the story behind the now famous atoll. “The Tetiaroa atoll first caught Marlon Brando’s eye when he was scouting locations for Mutiny on the Bounty. In 1966, Hollywood royalty purchased the atoll. Brando paid $270,000 for the whole place, which he viewed in spiritual terms. It would be, in addition to his second home, the place where his ashes would one day be scattered,” noted Zeman.“Tetiaroa was Marlon’s way to get away,” says Producer Mike Medavoy of Mutiny on the Bounty.Circulation: Circulation: 1,111,423
Readership: 3.9 Million
AVE: $591,060 USD
Islands Magazine – June 2014
“Life Here: Nemo’s Nightmare”
Shot by Pierre Lesage, this two-page photo spread captures and magic and beauty of boats and Maupiti islanders as they form a stone fishing circle in the lagoon holding a 1½-mile-long vegetal net. As they move, they toss stones held by strings into the water to herd the fish. This event is held once every 10 years with all 1,300 residents participating.Circulation: 233,764
Media Value: 67,256.25
Readership: 818,174
Readership: 717,461

Facebook Followers: 293,102
Unique Visitors Per Month: 332,213
TravelAge West Magazine
“Setting the Bar in Tahiti”
This article written by Kenneth Shapiro highlights the caliber of luxury vacation on the Islands of Tahiti while staying at the St. Regis Bora Bora.”Tahiti is a perennially popular destination for luxury travel, and at the top of the islands’ up-scale offerings is the St. Regis Bora Bora, which many consider to be one of the best resorts anywhere in the world.” – Kenneth ShapiroConsidered to be the most beautiful island in the world. With a lagoon resembling an artist’s palette of bright blues and greens, Bora Bora is love at first sight. Romantics from around the world have laid claim to this island where the castle-like Mount Otemanu pierces the sky.Circulation: 21, 847
Media Value: 32,162.25
BRIDES Magazine – June/July 2014
Best Honeymoons
We are proud to announce that the 118 islands and atolls that make up the Islands of Tahiti were named the top pick in the 2014 BRIDES Best Honeymoons.This year marks the first time the Islands of Tahiti, officially known as French Polynesia, has taken the number one spot in this yearly listing.BRIDES conducted a survey in conjunction with Virtuoso, a network of thousands of luxury travel agents, to determine the most romantic honeymoon escapes in the world for 2014. Published by Condé Nast, BRIDES is the country’s leading bridal brand and most trusted resource for brides.Circulation: 315,955
Media Value: 610,185.40

FASHION Magazine – Summer 2014
Surf & Turf / Into the Blue
This 11-page spread features summer’s newest fashion trends in Canada.

Shot at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, whether your summer includes far-off travel or finding a sandy patch closer to home, FASHION magazine says to shake things up with 3D florals and other fashion trends.

Writer Elio Iannacci says, “it may take three planes and a boat to get there from most places in Canada, but Bora Bora’s beauty is well worth the travel time.”

Circulation: 315,955
Media Value: 610,185.40

The Knot Magazine – Summer 2014
“Annual Guide To The Best 50 Honeymoon Spots”
This article in The Knot showcases the 50 best honeymoon spots. Bora Bora was ranked in the top 10 most romantic!”WHY GO this is what honeymoon dreams are made of: thatched-roof, over-water bungalows; crystal-clear turquoise lagoons; and swirling schools of colorful fish.”Circulation: 138,369
Media Value: 371, 991.55
The Knot Magazine – Summer 2014
“Real Honeymoons”
In this article, a couple describes their honeymoon experience from the islands of Tahiti, Taha’a and Bora Bora.”It felt like we were sleeping in the middle of the jungle but in ultimate comfort,” in reference to Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa.Taha’a, with the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians. The flower-shaped island’s simple beauty is charmed by soft mountain shapes and surrounded by tiny motu with bright sand beaches. In the fertile valleys cutting within the island, local farmers grow watermelon, vanilla, and copra.Circulation: 138,369
Media Value: 93,387.00 

C-Suite Quarterly Magazine
“A Fine String of Pearls”

This article published by CSQ captures the beauty and romance of the Islands of Tahiti and how it ties into the corporate incentive destination.
“If there’s one word that encapsulates French Polynesia, it is “romance,” and in a context more encompassing than our everyday use of the word,” writer, Elyse Glickman stated.

“Few other places can blend world-class, full-amenity resort comfort, and memorable adventure activities that abound in the verdant, rough-hewn surroundings outside the property,” in reference to the island of Bora Bora.


BELLA Magazine – July/August 2014
Under The Tahitian Sun
Freelance photographer, Kelly Fajack, shot this beautiful 10-page spread on the atoll of Tikehau at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.

The photo shoot features the latest trends of bikini wear in this issue of BELLA Magazine, which is only sold in the tri-state area and at all New York City newsstands.

Considered to be one of the most beautiful atolls in Polynesia, Tikehau is a graceful oval crown of small islets with an interior lagoon 16-miles across and a pass for small boats through the coral reef – the perfect setting for a gorgeous photo shoot.

Circulation: 70,000
Media Value: 29,454.75


Islands Magazine – July/August 2014
Get Here: Goodbye Former Life
“Tahiti is beautiful, but a beach chair on my own private island defies all adjectives,” says John Whittle about Motu Mahana.Motu Mahana sits off the northern coast of the island of Taha’a and is usually the third destination of the seven-day Paul Gauguin Society Islands cruise.“I’m sitting in a living postcard. Would anyone notice if I just stayed?” says Whittle.Circulation: 200,276
Media Value: 37,663.5
Aisle to Isles
Modern Luxury Brides – Fall/Winter 2014
“Leave the blur of big-day events behind to relish in the relaxation and flat-out romance that only the South Pacific can deliver,” says writer travel journalist Patti Dickey.Dickey visited the Islands of Tahiti back in May on a SPM, Hotels, Resorts & Spa press trip, and had the chance to travel to the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Tikehau.“Honeymooners can expect beautifully furnished surrounds with an outside terrace that – no surprise at this point – offers direct lagoon access,” says Dickey.Circulation: 50,000
Media Value: 77,625.00

Tahiti Honeymoon
DNA Magazine – August Issue

The island of Bora Bora is featured on the cover of the August issue of DNA Magazine – a gay magazine featured not only in the U.S., but also in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.

This 30-page spread was shot at the Four Seasons Bora Bora and the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, and features a story about legal gay weddings in French Polynesia.

“During our shoot in Bora Bora, we saw gay couples walking hand-in-hand and comfortably expressing affection,” says photographer, Lewis Payton.


Televised Media Coverage

Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin – ABC
February 2014
The Islands of Tahiti were featured this past February in three, one-hour long episodes of “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin,” which airs on ABC-TV affiliates across the U.S. on Saturday mornings.

The first episode, which aired on February 1, featured Jeff Corwin as he traveled to the Islands of Tahiti and worked with rescuers to save Tahiti’s sea turtles, explored coral reefs and swam with stingrays and sharks.

The second episode that aired February 8 featured the atoll of Rangiroa as Jeff searched for the elusive Lionfish.

The third Tahiti episode aired on February 22, 2014, Jeff explored one of the largest ocean sanctuaries on earth and came face-to-face with a family of humpback whales between the islands of Tahiti and Moorea.

Click here to watch the Tahiti episodes on “Ocean Mysteries.”

Network: ABC
Viewership: 1.6 million per episode

Giuliana & Bill – E!
May 2014

On May 27, 2014, the Islands of Tahiti and Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa were featured on the hit show “Giuliana & Bill” on the E! Network.

Giuliana and Bill surprised a few of their friends with a trip to the Islands of Tahiti and some “couples’ counseling” in addition to relaxation and exploration of paradise. A very big mauruuru roa to Air Tahiti Nui, Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa and Tahiti Tourisme that worked together to make this project happen.

Click here to watch the episode.

Network: E!
Viewership: 2.5 million

Extreme Weight Loss –
June 2014

Two episodes of ABC’s hit show Extreme Weight Loss were shot on the island of Moorea at the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort. The first episode, which ran on June 3, followed the amazing journey and weight loss transformations of mother and son, Kathie and Josh. The episode covered their six-month weight loss check in and their experiences in the Islands of Tahiti.

The second episode, which aired on June 17, 2014, featured Jayce from Nashville and Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte.  Lochte helped Jayce overcome his fear of swimming in open water in the beautiful lagoon of Moorea.

Each two-hour episode documents the journey of transformation of an individual through significant weight loss over the course of one year with the goal of losing up to half their body weight. Host, Chris Powell and his wife Heidi push and inspire each participant to reach their goal weight.

A very big mauruuru roa to Air Tahiti Nui and Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort that worked very closely with the Tahiti Tourisme to make this project happen.

Network: ABC
Episode one: 3.7 million
Episode two: 3.3 million

Click on the following link to see highlights from episode one or episode two.

Rhythm Abroad – PBS
June 2014

From the producers of PBS’ Emmy-winning TravelScope, Rhythm Abroad brings dance, culture and music of the Islands of Tahiti into the homes of viewers. Host Brittany Pierce gets an inside view into typical Tahitian life as she moves her hips with the locals at a community fundraiser. Away from the drums, Brittany cools off as she takes to the crystal blue waters for an exciting day of swimming with stingrays and sharks.

Click here to watch the episode.

Click here to view photos from the shoot and the show.

Network: PBS

Globe Trekker – PBS
June 2014

Hosts Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro and Megan McCormick dust off their boots and hit the trail once more in Globe Trekker Around The World featured on PBS this past June.

Zay Harding goes on an epic adventure across the South Pacific islands in pursuit of the remaining vestiges of Polynesian culture. Along the way he tells the incredible story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, beguiles us with tales of Captain Cook and experiences the simple joys of tropical island life. Zay then sets forth to French Polynesia and its ‘Garden of Eden,’ Tahiti, where Otea dancing girls catch his eye and Matavai Bay sends him back in time to the late eighteenth century when Captain Cook was charting the transit of Venus and a seafaring crew collected breadfruit and Polynesian wives for their impending mutiny.

Zay volunteers himself for the Heiva Va’a canoe race, dines in a truck-filled car park called a roulotte and ferries himself to the island of Moorea for some snorkeling and a taste of the best vanilla in the world.

Click here to watch a preview of the show.

Network: PBS

Facing Waves/SUP – Universal Sport and Outside TV
July 2014

The islands of Tahiti and Moorea were recently featured in two episodes of Facing Waves. Facing Waves is an adventure travel TV series that showcases top paddling athletes and destinations from around the world. Each episode takes viewers on paddling adventures that are breathtaking and inspiring.

The show is broadcast through NBC’s Universal Sports, Outside Television, and syndicated internationally. The show is also translated into Spanish and broadcast in all Spanish-speaking countries in South America.

Click here to view the Opening Segment teaser

Moorea – mini segment on Paddle TV, click here to view.

Network: Outside TV and Universal Sports

Universal Sports is broadcast into 58 million TV households
Outside Television is broadcast to 8 million TV Households across the US

June 2014 Visitor Arrivals

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Institute of Statistics of French Polynesia (ISPF) has released the arrival numbers for June 2014.

North Americans accounted for 44% of all Tahiti visitors for June 2014. Total North American arrivals for the month of June 2014 alone were 5,308, a 4% decrease or 232 less visitors than June 2013.

Land arrivals excluding VFR (visiting friends and relatives) for the same month were 4,191 passengers total, a 1% increase or 56 more passengers as compared to June 2013.

Total cruise arrivals decreased in June with 800 passengers, a 26% decrease or 280 less passengers. For 2014, the percentage of cruise arrivals account for 37% of all arrivals, as compared to 2013 where 50% of all arrivals for the first six months were cruise.

Total “paid room nights” continue to increase with 43,006 in June, a 10% increase or 4,085 more “paid room nights” compared to June 2013.

Below is a chart highlighting “paid room nights” and “visitor arrivals” for the first six months of the years 2007 to 2014.

The United States delivered 31,986 visitors, while Canada delivered 5,683 visitors, and Mexico delivered 498 visitors, for a total of 38,167 visitors to date. The total “paid room nights” so far for 2014 has surpassed 2013 numbers with 215,292 “paid room nights”, an increase of 17% or an additional 31,665 “paid room nights.”

Tahiti Tourisme North America would like to thank and congratulate all of our partners for these encouraging results. The increase of arrivals illustrates synergy among our Tahiti partners and the overall interest in the Islands of Tahiti from North America.

Mauruuru roa,

Tahiti Tourisme North America

The Islands of Tahiti & Partners Honored In 2014 Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best List”

Bora Bora, Moorea and Raiatea in the Islands of Tahiti took three of the five spots in the “Top Islands” category in Travel + Leisure’sWorld’s Best Awards” – the magazine’s prestigious annual readers’ survey. The islands were honored in the Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region category.

The Travel + Leisure 2014 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey reveals readers’ favorite hotels, cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, car-rental agencies, spas, safari outfitters, and tour operators and are now listed on

Several resorts and one cruise line from the Islands of Tahiti were recognized, including the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora in the Top 100 World’s Best Hotels category and Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, ranked number one in the World’s Best Cruise Lines/Small-Ship Cruise Lines category followed by Windstart Cruises at number three.

In the Top Lodges and Resorts in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific category, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora came in at number two, followed by InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa and the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora was number one on the Top Hotel Spa in the Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific category.

Follow the Travel + Leisure 2014 World’s Best Awards conversation on Twitter with @travlandleisure #tlworldsbest.

May Visitor Arrivals

North Americans accounted for 44% of all Tahiti visitors for May 2014. Total North American arrivals for the month of May 2014 alone were 6,542, a 17% increase or 954 more visitors than May 2013.

Land arrivals excluding VFR (visiting friends and relatives) for the same month were 4,689 passengers total, a 7% increase or 294 more passengers as compared to May 2013.

Total North American “paid room nights” for May 2014 increased to 46,152, a 15% increase or 7,105 more “paid room nights” compared to May 2013. The total cruise arrivals were 1,565 passengers, a 71% increase or 650 more passengers.

Below is a chart highlighting “paid room nights” and “visitor arrivals” for the first five months of the years 2007 to 2014.

The United States delivered 26,936 visitors, while Canada delivered 5,425 visitors, and Mexico delivered 454 visitors, for a total of 32,815 visitors to date. The total “paid room nights” so far for 2014 has surpassed 2013 numbers with 172,286 “paid room nights”, an increase of 19% or an additional 27,580 “paid room nights.”

2014 Tahiti Business Forum

This year’s Tahiti Business Forum was held at the Manhattan Beach Marriott in Manhattan Beach, CA on June 18 & 19, 2014.

The Business Forum, last held in 2008, is designed by Tahiti Tourisme North America to gather key Tahiti partners across North America and Tahiti, to promote synergy, and work together for the benefit of our destination.

This event was an opportunity for GIE Tahiti Tourisme and TTNA to launch the new global brand and for our partners to share their concerns about the challenges affecting our destination. An additional objective of the event was to foster an atmosphere of collaboration in order to facilitate a constructive review and evaluation of TTNA programs.

The conference began on Wednesday, June 18th, with an  “Online Reputation Management” session sponsored and presented by TripAdvisor with our guest speaker, Andrew Wiens, International DMO Manager for TripAdvisor. This was a private session for our hotel partners.

Andrew provided attendees with insight as to how to manage their online reputation. “If you have a higher rating on TripAdvisor, then you’ll get more sales,” said Andrew. “If a property can increase its review score by one point, it’s an 11.2% increase in sales.”

“Guests are visiting TripAdvisor more frequently prior to booking. It has become part of their culture,” said Wiens.

In Q1 2013, TripAdvisor had 108 million unique monthly visitors on mobile, which was up 100% year over year. Travelers are using tablets to book more and more; however, they are not seeing significant international booking from using smartphones.

To view the entire presentation of Andrew Wiens and learn more on “Online Reputation Management,” please click here.

Following TripAdvisor was the “Industry Challenges & Creative Solutions” session, presented by TTNA.

A week prior to the Tahiti Business Forum, TTNA had sent out a survey questionnaire about strengths and challenges to be completed by all of our partners attending the forum.

The feedback and raw data from the survey was then analyzed and presented during the   session. All attendees then teamed up to brainstorm these challenges by using strengths through the creation and implementation of an effective marketing plan.

During the session, every team presented their marketing campaigns thus engaging all partners to discuss and share openly with the TTNA team their concerns and suggestions to improve the promotions for the destination. Tahiti Tourisme North America would like to thank all partners for their input and cooperation. TTNA will implement and adapt accordingly new marketing and promotional initiatives and directions to meet the objectives discussed during these sessions.

The following day opened with a sponsored breakfast by Luxury Link, followed by the unveiling of the new global brand launch, which was presented by Thomas Rebergue, CMO at GIE Tahiti Tourisme, and Sally McNeill, Managing Director at FutureBrand Australia.

Sally presented the three main objectives for the new global brand. First, to create a strong, unified and consistent identity and noted, “the North American market has done a great job building the brand, but that hasn’t been done globally and we needed to create consistency,” said McNeill.

The second two objectives are to renew French Polynesia and to identify a global brand positioning for all audiences to be adapted to each market. McNeill remarked, “This cannot just be a short-term solution, it has to be something that evolves and builds and creates a story – for yourselves as well as making sure we are thinking ahead for those that are going to visit the Islands of Tahiti.”

ISLANDS Magazine sponsored the coffee break that followed the unveiling of the new global brand launch.

The “Insights into the Luxury Traveler” session presented by John C. Anderson, Digital Sales & Marketing Director at Robb Report, offered an overview of the North American luxury traveler, what they are looking for, and what they expect. “They look for the best of the best and they look to combine business and personal travel at the same time,” he said. “The biggest change that we’ve heard is that it’s all about experience. People are looking for something that is a broad based experience.”

Anderson also mentioned that the market is now looking at the 35+ audience and that the younger affluent traveler is spending more than the 45+.

To view the entire presentation Anderson and Robb Report and get a better understanding of the affluent traveler, please click here.

Skye Marying, Managing Editor for TravelAge West and award-winning writer, blogger, and social media strategist gave a presentation on “Outbound Travel Trends and The Millennial Traveler.”

Mayring covered the latest travel trends including technology and personalization. “Technology is facilitating the personalization. In the 2020’s, we will all have an e-agent – a digital travel buddy or an A.I. device that is learned to understand the individual needs of each person. It will personalize all of our travel experiences. Travel brands will be able to rent out a personalized e-agent as a part of the vacation packages,” shared Mayring.

“By 2015, millennials are expected to have billions of dollars in spending power.”

To view the entire presentation of Skye Marying and get an overview of the latest travel trends and a better understanding of millennial travelers, please click here.

BRIDES Magazine hosted the lunch and during the luncheon, Hutch Looney, Pacific Director at BRIDES Magazine, presented the award for “Best Honeymoon Destination” to Jonathan Reap, Managing Director at TTNA. This is the first time that the Islands of Tahiti win this award, beating out Italy, Hawaii, and the Maldives.

The Forum resumed with an in-depth travel agent panel discussion, featuring five “Certified Tahiti Specialists” from all over North America, including:

  • Katie Cadar – TravelStore Platinum, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Kleon Howe – The Art of Travel, San Diego, CA.
  • Gretchen Macknight – Perfect Honeymoons/Holiday Travel, Escondido, CA.
  • Annie Smits – The Travel Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Christina Turrini – Frosch Travel, San Francisco, CA.

The specialists were invited to share with the audience their perspective from the retail side of the business.

The panel addressed many common themes such as the food costs, free Wi-Fi, the evolution of niche markets, family programs on the islands, the challenge of inclusive resort pricing, the surf and dive markets, etc.

The first question asked the panel to address how the beauty of the Islands of Tahiti compares with other exotic destinations. And the unanimous feedback from the agents was, “it does not compare. Tahiti is what the other exotic destinations are trying to be.”

The audience was very engaged during the panel and extremely interested in understanding their side of the business. The suppliers were also very concerned as to how they could help the agents sell the destination and overcome the challenges facing our destination.

This session was very educational and indicative of many of the challenges we need to overcome within the industry. It offered all of the attendees insight into the difficulties our Certified Tahiti Specialists are facing.

The Forum closed with a public relations panel discussion, featuring five media partners from different aspects of media – print, photography, and television.

  • Yolanda Crous – Features & Travel Director at BRIDES Magazine
  • Kelly Fajack – Freelance Photographer
  • Jacqui Gifford – Senior Editor at Travel + Leisure Magazine
  • Eddy Patricelli – Brand Director at Islands Magazine
  • Nicole Woods – Co-Executive Producer for The Bachelor/Bachelorette on ABC

During the session, some of the panelists were asked to share what the latest trends are with their publication, and what is the best way to get into their magazines. “Culinary travel is a huge trend,” said Jacqui Gifford, Travel + Leisure. “86% want to eat local food. Culinary festivals are also big.”

Nicole Wood with The Bachelor/The Bachelorette was asked how can the resorts and the airlines best work together, “The biggest ask is the room nights and we know it is a big leap. But really recognize the benefit of the exposure from the show for the airlines and the destination.” She also mentioned that viewers do book their trips after watching what they’ve just seen on the show.

The panel provided a better understanding of public relations and how it benefits their products and the destination.

TTNA would like to thank all our partners for their support and for making the Business Forum a meaningful event for the benefit of our destination. We look forward to using this valuable feedback as we continue to improve our programs.

Click here to view photos of the event.

New Global Brand for Tahiti Tourisme Worldwide

The New Global Brand Launch

June 18, 2014 marked the launch of the new global brand positioning and identity for the Islands of Tahiti.

A New Brand in the Making: 

In 2013, GIE Tahiti Tourisme, our head office, embarked on a comprehensive and strategic branding project to redefine and build a new positioning for the destination. The challenge was to tell a clear and compelling story of why travelers should visit French Polynesia with the knowledge of an increasingly competitive market, changes in consumer behavior redefining ‘luxury,’ and evolving traveler demands.

With the goal of creating a more contemporary understanding and desire for all that French Polynesia has to offer, the new brand was created to set the foundations for future marketing activities and build on the long-term strategies for the nation’s tourism and hospitality industry, and designed to meet the needs and expectations of the future traveler.

Creating a Compelling Story:

Through a partnership with FutureBrand, an internationally recognized brand consultancy, research was carried out to understand current and future travelers, what influences travel trends and insights to what travelers are looking for in a dream destination.

To explore and define these strategic and creative goals, a collaborative approach included input from multiple stakeholders within local industry, government, tourism experts and partners.  Key figures in local community, art, dance, crafts, history, products and music all worked together during this process contributing their knowledge and passion, all for the benefit of the destination.

Tahiti Tourisme’s international representatives were closely involved in the work, led by the head office team in Papeete, ensuring a global perspective and local relevance at every step.

It was defined that there were a number of undiscovered opportunities to attract new visitors by continuing to focus on cultivating perceptions of a premium, upmarket destination, but also to focus on more diverse experiences in French Polynesia – across the wide variety within its five archipelagos.

With these valuable insights and opinions forming the basis of the work, a strategic positioning was defined that captured the authentic aspects of the Islands of Tahiti. With the physical beauty of the destination being only a part of its story, it was clear that emphasizing the breadth of the experiences and the color and the vibrancy that the islands have to offer, presented an opportunity to appeal to travelers who seek unique experiences.

The defined target of the discerning explorer who wants to discover more than just the expected. They want genuine experiences where they can truly connect. The ambition of the new positioning was two-fold; continue to support current visitors who wish to discover a little more, while enticing new tourists who are ready to travel to experience something rare and exclusive.

The New Brand Mark:

Created by FutureBrand, the new brandmark was created from inspiration and timeless traditions and developed to work for both the destination and the corporate entity of Tahiti Tourisme.

The handcrafted letterforms contain an elegance and refinement with a sense of timeless simplicity and calm. Utilizing the distinctive and familiar shade of the tattoo and deep ocean midnight blue, the new brand mark symbolizes a powerful destination full of depth, and becomes almost mystical.

The symbolism behind the considered careful treatment of the “H” reflects “Hiti,” or ‘gateway’ and serves as a reveal for the islands of Polynesia forming the frontiers of the destination.

The Identity System:

Reflecting the timeless culture and way of life through the positioning and an elegant and premium approach to color, type and photography, the new identity encourages the travel industry and travelers to consider the beauty that lies beneath the surface of the picture-perfect postcard; the beauty and the powerful and profound impact the land and people can have on those who visit.

Building on the warmth and beauty found in the traditional craft of Tifaifai, the new brand visual identity system incorporates patterns and symbols from iconic plants and flowers found across the islands.

New approaches to photography supported by a broad, yet refined, color palette reflects the diversity of the islands and helps illustrate the strategic story.

Translated and adapted for the languages of all key markets, the overall new brand identity serves as a strong symbol of the destination, which stands out against competition.

The brand identity sets the scene for more in-depth storytelling and cultivates a curiosity to visit and experience the different islands on a journey of discovery, renewal and personal and sensorial rejuvenation. It showcases the destination and all its attributes in a new light.

Reflecting the beauty within these islands, the people and the way of life, this new approach evolves the best of the past and the present, and brings it into an exciting future.

GIE Tahiti Tourisme has recently posted a new clip that promotes the Islands of Tahiti. Our head office collaborated with Tagra Prod and FutureBrand to shoot this video in the five archipelagoes.

In this three-minute video, Tahiti Tourisme highlights the beautiful people, landscape, culture, generosity, harmony and elegance of the Islands of Tahiti.

The new global brand is being rolled out in full over the remainder of this year across website and collateral materials, as well as a refresh of the advertising and activations over the next 12 months.