Monthly Archives: July 2014

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.

TTNA Named Winner in T+L’s Third Annual Social Media In Travel + Tourism Awards (SMITTY® Awards)

Tahiti Tourisme North America Wins “Best Use of Instagram”  and Set to ‘Takeover’ @TravelandLeisure Instagram today, July 21st.

Tahiti Tourisme North America was named a 2014 winner for “Best Use of Instagram” for @TahitiTourism in the  third annual Travel + Leisure® Social Media in Travel + Tourism™ Awards (SMITTY® Awards), which recognize the companies in the travel and tourism industry showcasing the best and most innovative uses of social media. Travel+ Leisure editors noted, “Love a good beach shot? So do the 17,000 Instagrammers who liked Tahiti’s images last year.”

Tahiti Tourisme North America images will be “taking over” the @TravelandLeisure Instagram on Monday, July 21st and can be followed along at @TravelandLeisure  and via #TLTakeover. All nearly 156,000 @TravelandLeisure Instagram followers will be able to explore and follow the beauty and culture showcased on the @TahitiTourism Instagram channel.

The winners of this year’s SMITTY Awards were selected by a distinguished jury of digital insiders and travel industry experts, including Rob Torres, managing director of travel for Google, and Al Roker, co-host and weatherman for NBC’s TODAY show. The jury reviewed hundreds of submissions and named winners and runners-up in 30 categories.  The winners and their campaigns can be seen on travelandleisure.com/smittys, with additional information available by searching #TLSMITTY on social media. The SMITTY Awards will also be featured in the Travel + Leisure July 2014 issue.

“We are honored with this recognition from Travel + Leisure and are thrilled to be honored for our use of social media. The Islands of Tahiti are such a visually stunning destination and Instagram is the perfect medium to share the beauty and diversity of the 118 islands,” says Jeffrey Crochet, Communications Manager, Tahiti Tourisme North America.

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About Travel + Leisure
The world’s most influential travel brand, Travel + Leisure, offers insider access to destinations around the globe with a signature mix of smart advice, immersive photography, expert reporting, and award-winning coverage of hotels, food, design, style, culture, and trends.  Travel + Leisure® features news, finds, and opinions that empower its readers and users to travel better. With a global reach of more than 5.8 million readers, the Travel + Leisure print portfolio includes the U.S. flagship and five international editions in Mexico, Turkey, China, India/South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The U.S. edition of T+L, that launched in 1971, is also available on tablet. Travel + Leisure has an authoritative website, TravelandLeisure.com, and an extensive social media following of more than two million. The T+L brand also encompasses newsletters, clubs, retail stores, and media collaborations.