Destinations

Education key to selling Tahiti

Emma Mackenzie

The lack of direct air services from Australia and the price of holidays are the greatest challenges when selling Tahiti but these can be overcome with education, according to online retailer Fusion.

General manager product Cristina Cali revealed to Travel Weekly at Tahiti Travel Mart that the company will begin selling Tahiti holidays at the start of next year. But she anticipated a “slow start”, with customers expected to have several concerns over holidaying in the destination. However, she was confident educating the sales team would help to overcome such objections.

For example, to get to Tahiti from Australia, you need to stopover in Auckland, New Zealand. However, there are quite a few carriers and the stopover is only a few hours at most, Cali pointed out.

On the price front, many people believe Fiji is cheaper than the French Polynesia. And while in some aspects this might be true, Cali plans to train her sales team to highlight the range of activities on offer. It’s not just, as Cali put it, a “drop and flop” place.

“People think of Tahiti and the islands as a ‘drop and flop’,” she said. “They don’t know about the activities, they think it’s just honeymooning.”

Honeymooners and couples will of course be encouraged to travel to the islands, but Cali said Fusion is also looking into other markets.

“We’re unlikely to attract young families with Tahiti,” she admitted. “However there’s a lot of activities for the pre-teen market, as well as couples and baby boomers.”

Some of those activities include on-land activities, like hiking and heading into town, on-water activities such as jetskiing, paddle boarding, and going boating. And much of the magnificence of Tahiti is also underwater, which you can discover with a dive or by snorkelling.

Cali is expecting the holiday retailer to start selling Tahiti as early as next year, and noted that as 47% of what the company is selling is Fiji, she is convinced “we’ve got the potential to sell it”.

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