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Teama: “Identifying how we can compete in the digital landscape is critical for our tourism industry”

Pictured fifth from left back row, Digitalbrief presenter Russell Easther and delegates at the SPTO Digital Tourism Transformation Project at the Honiara Hotel.
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Honiara, Solomon Islands – Tourism Solomons has facilitated in delivering a key opportunity for close on 40 tourism officer and operators from across the nation to participate in a digital marketing skills program in Honiara designed to assist them in effectively marketing their products and services in overseas markets.

Described by Tourism Solomons Head of Sales & Marketing, Fiona Teama as key to closing an “identified gap” in the tourism sector’s overall marketing capability, the national tourism office provided air transport enabling  operators from as far afield as Central Province, Malaita, Makira-Ulawa, Temotu and Choiseul to join their Guadalcanal-based colleagues in attending a New Zealand Government-funded, South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) run, two-day Pacific Digital Tourism Transformation Project at the Honiara Hotel.

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The main thrust of the New Zealand government-funded, SPTO-delivered initiative is to provide the tourism sector across all SPTO-member countries with an understanding of how they can effectively market their products and services in the destination’s key visitor source markets and also those countries where they see a business opportunity.

In support of the program,  SPTO has recruited three ‘Champion’ trainers based in Fiji, Tahiti and Australia to deliver the digital strategy, the Solomon Islands component being delivered by Melbourne-based Russell Easther, the founder of digitalbrief.

Opening the event, Ms Teama said the program provided local operators with an invaluable opportunity to learn the skills they need to compete in today’s ever-evolving digital environment.

Thanking Solomon Airlines for its support in bringing the operators in from the outer provinces, Ms Teama said Tourism Solomons had long identified the gap in what many local operators are doing and what they need to do to be competitive.

“So this program really only opens up an opportunity for us to learn how to use the requisite digital tools and employ them effectively,” she said.

“Big or small operation, it is critical for our tourism industry to be singing the same song and the right song.”

Delegates from the Ministry of Culture & Tourism also attended the event.

Acknowledging the partnership with the New Zealand Government, SPTO Chief Executive, Christopher Cocker, said that through collaborative efforts, participants would play a pivotal role in driving digital excellence and positioning the Pacific Islands as a premier tourism destination in the digital realm.

“SPTO recognises the potential to build digital skills, knowledge, and experience through these activities is a critical component of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (NZMFAT) project Phase 2 and to the overall implementation of our digital strategy,” he said.

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