TORONTO — Tahiti Tourisme North America hosted trade receptions in the U.S. and Canada – for the first time since 2018 – including the kick-off event in Toronto this week.
Travel advisors took part in comprehensive half-day destination training sessions, plus there were networking opportunities too. Participating partners included Air Tahiti, Aranui Cruises, Conrad Bora Bora Nui, French Bee, Paul Gauguin Cruises, The Brando, Far & Away Adventures, Travel Brands and more.
Some 14 suppliers in all were on hand to talk Tahiti, Bora Bora and more. There was also a two-hour long Tahiti presentation by the tourism board.
Stan Enden, BDM, North & Southeast USA for Tahiti Nui Travel, told Travelweek’s Michelle Zimmer that his DMC can take care of just about everything a travel advisor needs for their client’s trip. “We do air, transfers, hotels, even restaurant reservations,” says Enden. “We do hotels, three star and up. We’re based right there and we’re there for travellers 24/7, I think that puts a lot of clients at ease.” Tahiti Nui Travel has been around since 1965, “so we’re not the new kids on the block,” Enden joked. The company’s site is tahitinuitravel.com.
One of the destination’s top luxury properties, The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, is a showstopper, says Director of Luxury Sales, Amanda Esposito. “We recommend saving Bora Bora for last – because nothing will top it,” says Esposito. The resort commands 44 acres and offers 77 overwater villas. There are also 13 land villas, starting at 1,500 square feet. “We have a lot of celebrities, a lot of athletes,” she shares. The property’s F&B offering is second to none, she adds. “We’ve got the best food in Bora Bora.”
Steven Kona Simao, VP Sales, North America for Variety Cruises, offered up a vision of easy onboard elegance for the cruise line’s Tahiti sailings. “No tuxes, no ties,” he said. “It’s a yacht-type ship, with 21 crew.” The staterooms aren’t sprawling, but as Kona Simao points out, “on our sailings, you’re not in your room a lot, you’re ashore.” The intimate size of the ship means groups are a good fit. “When you do a charter, you can customize everything.” Prices lead in at Cdn$2,500 per person in the off-season.
Goway was at the event too, represented by Rares Dumitru, National Account Manager. “Tahiti is one of our destinations, and Bora Bora. All of French Polynesia,” said Dumitru, adding that Goway offers some 150 destinations worldwide. Goway’s full-service offering for the trade includes an air consolidator department, and a cruise department. He says celebration travel, including anniversaries and the like, are big for Goway’s French Polynesia bookings. “And 95% of what we do is customized,” he adds.
For all the latest product and destination news check out https://tahititourisme.ca/en-ca/. The site includes information on the different islands, attractions, and accommodations, as well as practical information on travel requirements and customs.
Tahiti Tourisme also offers a number of tools and resources for travel agents, including a dedicated travel agent portal, comprising training modules, sales tools, and marketing materials. Tahiti Tourisme also hosts fam trips and other educational opportunities for travel agents who want to experience Tahiti first-hand.