The Tuvalu Department of Tourism and its stakeholders embraced the opportunity to advance digital transformation as they participated in the Pacific Tourism Organisations (SPTO) Pacific Digital Champions training program. The training lasted for two days and was funded by the New Zealand Government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This program is integral to the “Pacific Digital Tourism Transformation Project” overseen by SPTO.
The workshop participants lauded the training for its pertinence to the ever-changing demands of digital marketing. Given the continuous evolution of digital technologies and platforms, the program’s strategic timing proved invaluable in providing attendees with state-of-the-art knowledge.
Alena Faitalia, the Marketing Officer of the Tuvalu Department of Tourism, emphasized the program’s timing as exceptionally valuable, equipping participants with current knowledge in the ever-evolving digital technology and social media landscape.
“Our tourism stakeholders are embracing the digital shift through the SPTO Pacific Digital Champions training program. They recognize its relevance in the face of the rapidly changing digital marketing scenario,” Ms Faitalia expressed.
Molia Kimo, a workshop participant from the Tuvalu Development Bank, praised the program and highlighted its applicability to tourism industry members and other stakeholders present, including those from the banking sector.
“Digital marketing is rapidly evolving. Even for us in the banking sector, this training offers insights into effectively promoting our products and harnessing the power of social media,” Ms Kimo stated.
Alafou Kainano from Funafuti Lagoon Hotels mentioned, “We’ve gained insights into tools and applications to enhance our hotel’s social media presence, aiming to boost visibility and attract tourists.”
Aligned with the SPTO Digital Strategy, the Pacific Digital Champions training program aims to equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the digital landscape successfully.
Countries that have completed Wave One training under SPTO include New Caledonia and Timor Leste, followed by American Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Niue. The remaining countries for August participation are the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis & Futuna. Wave Two training will continue virtually until December 31, 2023
According to SPTO CEO Christopher Cocker, the Pacific Digital Champions training program represents an exciting new chapter. SPTO recognises the crucial role that digital skills, knowledge, and experience play in the NZMFAT project Phase 2 and the overall implementation of the Digital Strategy.
“Digital technologies empower the tourism sector to market their destinations internationally effectively. We need to shift our focus to the digital landscape and equip our members with the required knowledge and skill sets so that we are not left behind in this day and age,” Mr Cocker emphasized. He added that with the combined support of SPTO, the New Zealand government, participants, and trainers, the future of the region’s tourism industry holds promising prospects.