Association supports initiative

Fantasha Lockington. Picture: Mela Katonivualiku

THE Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association (FHTA) has partnered with Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia to make the digital tourism training free and accessible specifically to our smaller tourism operators and increase their business opportunities through exposure to on-line platforms expertise.

FHTA chief executive officer Fantasha Lockington said the way international tourists made travel decisions were changing and a growing number of tourists were becoming more and more reliant on the internet as their main source of information.

“An increasing number of tourists explore holiday destination that is what to do, where to stay using their phones, tablets and computers,” Mrs Lockington said.

“Referral sites such as Trip Advisor play an important role in their decision making process.”

Mrs Lockington said the travel and tourism industry had dramatically shifted online regardless of where you are in the world, businesses in this sector need to have an online presence to be able to trade.

“Having an online presence (and the right type of online presence) is vital for tourism operators.”

She said with the work PTI Australia had done in the Pacific over the past 40 years, they identified a gap in how local operators accessed the tourism market and developed a digital program with workshops to upskill local tourism operators with their knowledge of digital marketing and provide practical steps to help local tourism operators increase sales and improve profitability.

Mrs Lockington said the digital tourism program also supports the development of a booking and payment capable website for direct bookings.

The workshop covers the following topics to help tourism operators enhance their digital presence:

  • ¬†Understanding the accommodation buying cycle
  • Leveraging your website to drive more direct sales
  • Instant booking capability
  • Online third-party distribution
  • Social Marketing

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