PTI Australia partnered with leading digital tourism experts to run an Advanced Digital Tourism Series as a follow up to the success of their Introductory Digital Tourism initiative. The series was welcomed by tourism operators in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Pacific looking to build capacity in the wake of COVID-19 and to enhance their digital presence as the world starts to plan post-pandemic holidays.
Over the past month, the series hosted just under 200 participants from across 11 Pacific nations including PNG, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia. The four workshops were tailored for the Pacific tourism sector and led by global experts, covering SEO marketing, content marketing, distribution strategies and payment solutions.
PTI Australia’s Advanced Digital Tourism Series was designed following consistent feedback through their Pacific Business Monitor, which identified the improvement of online commerce capabilities as a key initiative that businesses in the Pacific needed support with as they navigate the effects of COVID-19.
Onorina Fugawai, PTI Australia Tourism and Investment Project Officer, said with border closures and no definite date of reopening, the opportunity to refresh and build important skills in e-commerce and marketing tactics was met with enthusiasm by the region’s tourism sector.
“This series was produced by PTI Australia and our expert partners from the feedback of operators on PTI Australia’s Digital Tourism Program who wanted to deepen their skills in specific areas but were unable to access the training.
“As the world starts to actively plan post-pandemic holidays, our Advanced Digital Tourism Series has allowed those in the tourism industry to further enhance their digital skills. These are practical skills that they implement in their business to strengthen their digital presence so they can effectively engage tourists.
“We were so pleased with the high level of engagement in our advanced workshops. With so much uncertainty in the market, it was great to see tourism operators in PNG embracing the opportunity to further their skills. We are so appreciative for the positive feedback we have received and look forward to working with all the tourism operators into the future.”
Irene Olkeriil, Founder of EmeralDreams Services in Palau, said the workshop series was timely given the challenges the Pacific countries are experiencing this year.
“During this time of COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the global economy, I must say that PTI Australia is doing an exceptional job in keeping us members all informed and motivated to find solutions to help our small businesses. Because Palau is totally tourism-reliant and I am one of the few small business owners who operate family-style accommodations for guests, I truly appreciate the Advanced Tourism Workshop Series.
“The speakers were excellent. I’m looking forward to improving my digital marketing platform, particularly my website in conjunction with getting my business presence unto more OTAs [Online Travel Agents] and hopefully finding a channel manager that I can utilise. The Advanced Tourism Workshops were super helpful. For all of these wonderful workshops that PTI Australia continues to share, I take this opportunity to say thank you very much, ‘mesulang’ in Palauan.”
Petero Manufolau, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Authority of Kiribati, who organised to stream the live rooms of operators in Kiribati, said the workshops were relevant and well received.
“On behalf of the Tourism Authority of Kiribati and all our private sector partners, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the very rewarding webinars. The content was all applicable to their operations and has helped open their minds to the opportunities available through an effective digital marketing program.”
Founded in 1979, PTI Australia is an agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Funded by the Australian government, it facilitates trade and investment in the Pacific Islands.
(Participants of Advanced Digital Tourism Workshop Series)