Tourism SME e-Marketing Support for Accommodation Operators in Pohnpei

Some accommodation providers in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, were given a training on May 30, 2013 by the Fiji-based South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO). The training focused on using website-aided technology in advertising specifically designed accommodations and tourism products per provider on the web to improve net-based search and bookings by visitors. This latest technology was provided to the FSM by SPTO, made possible through financial support from the European Union through its 10th EDF. FSM is a SPTO member.

This training was held to enable website management and upscale e-marketing literacy by owners/managers of hotels/resorts/motels/guest houses in the FSM. A Consultant, Len Cordinier of Hotel Link Solutions (part of the WHL Group) was hired by SPTO to facilitate the trainings and engage in photo-shooting the participating accommodations for website creation purposes. Each accommodation provider will have its own website linked to FSM Government’s website as well as the SPTO and other internationally recognized websites.

Farewell Dinner for workshop participants

Farewell Dinner for workshop participantThe training was offered via an e-marketing support program under SPTO’s Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Project, and coordinated by Mr. Tarataake Teannaki, SPTO’s Planning Sector Specialist. Mr Lennox Vuti, Manager of Planning & Research was also present at the workshop to assist with the delivery of the workshop and held talks with the FSM’s National Statistical Office in a scoping exercise to gauge the capacity of delivering timely tourist arrival figures for FSM and SPTO. It was envisaged that should any deficiency and weakness in tourist statistics production be discovered, mitigation strategies should be defined to enable timely visitor statistics production.

The FSM Department of Resources and Development (FSM R&D), under whose jurisdiction Tourism hails, handled all logistical arrangements and provided the needed partnership in ensuring achievement of workshop’s goals. After the workshop, which was attended by over 12 representatives from local accommodation providers and other tourism stakeholders, arranged visits to hotels/resorts commenced to photo-shoot their properties and collect other digital contents for website creation. The websites should be ready for use by the trained accommodation operators by mid-August, 2013.

Scott Christensen, the head of Hotel Link Solutions Federated States of Micronesia

Scott Christensen, the head of Hotel Link Solutions Federated States of Micronesia

During this visit to Pohnpei, a local IT support Company, Micronesian Computer Services, was identified to work with Hotel Link solutions in providing a sustainable standby IT system support for the operators. “The tourism market in the Micronesia is just developing. As more people discover the untouched beauty of these islands it is imperative we provide a solution to make booking travel easier to the remote pacific,” says Scott Christensen, the head of Hotel Link Solutions FSM. “Our partnership with Hotel Link Solutions is the first step to boost tourism to show the world just how special these islands are.”

The accommodation operators expressed satisfaction on delivery of this particular workshop and look forward to the project bringing about tangible benefits to individual businesses. The FSM R&D Tourism Officer, Mr Bermance Aldis (Deputy Assistant Secretary), commented that he saw tremendous long term benefit coming from this Initiative. The FSM Department of Resources and Development would like to see the project replicated for Yap, Kosrae and Chuuk.