Owning a Tourism Business is awesome

20 Nov 2007

Tourism important for Pacific Islands: Prime Minister Samoa

Tourism has been highlighted as a significant industry by the Prime Minister of Samoa saying it contributes substantially to the economy and foreign exchange inflows to the region, creating employment and large contributions to government revenue.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the area has a comparative advantage in tourism terms because it can compete internationally making it an even more important role to play in achieving economic growth.

A study in 2005 estimated US$1,750 million would be spent by tourists across the 13 Pacific Island member countries, with departure tax alone generating over US$20 million in 2004. In the same year, direct expenditure in Pacific Islands member countries reached US$453 million.

Tourism benefits a diverse range of supportive sectors according to the Prime Minister, with an estimated US$1 million of visitor expenditure generating US$660,000 in local wages and other purchases in the region.

Mr Malielegaoi raised attention to the lack of retention of the tourism dollar within Pacific economies saying the value of tourism is eroded by the leakage of tourism earnings out of the Pacific Islands countries.

He said the level of support for tourism by government bodies has been relatively low, even though benefits have been shown to be significant.

“It is generally accepted that government intervention is necessary if a destination is to be successfully marketed and developed for tourism. Destination marketing is inherently cooperative and no single private sector operator, or group of operators, will be able to market a destination to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. Destinations must compete internationally for the tourism dollar, and competition is fierce,” he said.

Pacific destinations have performed well in developing the Australian and New Zealand markets which provide 50% of visitors to the region”

“There is a significant latent demand however in large markets of North America, North Asia and Europe for the small scale, high value visitor experience in which the Pacific excels. However, destinations competing with the Pacific typically work with much larger government budgets for their international marketing. Investment in regional marketing to open up these opportunities is therefore essential.”

Mr Malielegaoi said the internet was a tool to increase tourism to the islands, but said technology was hampered by its remoteness, lack of capacity and inaccessibility.

Other challenges for the industry as outlined by the Prime Minister included the limited capacity to produce effective statistical data for improved planning and market research to effectively penetrate new emerging markets.

He also said capacity must be developed to ensure national tourism strategies can be integrated into an effective regional strategy.

“This is essential to ensure the sustainable development of the sector is in harmony with the cultural and natural values of the Pacific,” he said.

“Foreign investment is vital if growth is to be secured. The Pacific needs to develop a greater and more holistic approach to attracting tourism investment. A wide variety of issues impact the ability of the region to attract investors, including land and legal issues. Support by governments is essential to help create an investment environment conducive for investors to assist in the expansion of the tourism industry.”

“Tourism can also be a demanding industry for the small/medium-size entrepreneur (SME). All too often the capacity to effectively start small to medium-sized tourism enterprises is lacking within the Pacific, although many potential opportunities abound.”

Mr Malielegaoi said the governments with the support of partners must now reassess and reconsider the current levels of support for tourism with increasing these levels where appropriate"

e-Travel Blackboard: Australia's Number One Industry Newsletter

13 Nov 2007

Fiji Telecom sector now open to all: Govt

Telecom sector now open to all: Govt

Thursday November 08, 2007

Fiji’s telecommunications sector is now deregulated.

Interim Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment and Communications Taito Waradi confirmed this today.

He said the Telecommunications Bill (that provides for the deregulation of Fiji's monopolised telecom sector) is now in place “as per the Cabinet decision on Tuesday”.

“The 1989 decree is now repealed. This new bill now replaces (the old one) which for the last 18 years locked us into exclusivity. We are now operating in a deregulated environment. There is no more (telecom) monopoly in Fiji,” Waradi said.

Waradi says there are 80 parts to the Act, 79 of which becomes operational immediately.

The first part is the setting up of the Telecom Board Authority of Fiji that will implement the act and regulate the industry, says Waradi.

“It has to be established first and the other parts will be progressively implemented as we go along.”

Waradi said the necessity to promulgate section 1-79 of the bill is now priority as it will engender semblance of transparency, predictability and certainty with regard to fundamental sectoral investment, development, legal and regulatory aspects.

The minister says that everyone will benefit from the deregulation of the industry – from the business community right to the villager in the interior.

“It has been a long road for us – the whole process started some 10 years ago,” he pointed out.

Regarding compensation for the telecommunication operators in exchange for the removal of their exclusive licences, Waradi says that section 80, that deals with the removal of exclusivity would be effected at a later date.

He says mediation talks with the telecom operators are starting next week Friday over three days.

“As the promulgation of the Bill will effectively end the currency of the exclusive privileges granted to TFL and FINTEL, an agreement has been reached between Government and the industry to enter into negotiations on the 7 years remaining of the exclusivity licence.”

Fiji’s telecom market, segregated into international, domestic and mobile, is currently monopolised by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd.

ATH acting chief executive officer Tomasi Vakatora says he is not aware of the bill being promulgated. He says he reserves his comment and will study the minister’s statement and then give a more informed response.

“But I can confirm that mediation talks start next week. We are now fully prepared for that. We are liaising with all our advisors and we are making all the necessary preparations for that mediation.”

According to Waradi, there is a general agreement that compensation should be non cash. He says that immediately after that the licences will be issued.

Vakatora says he does not know whether there will be any immediate outcome from that mediation process.

“We are going in with a positive mind and we would like to see some resolution so that we can move forward. Until we are engaged in all that then we will find out whether we can move forward.

“But we would like to move forward. There is too much uncertainty that we want to remove.”

Vakatora says they would have wanted the promulgation of the bill to come in after the mediation.

Waradi says the talks will be mediated independently by a World Bank expert and is expected to conclude no later than November 20.

The country's telecom industry is made up primarily of three major monopolies that are all currently protected through exclusivity licences.

Telecom Fiji Ltd has the exclusive licence to provide domestic voice and data services; Vodafone Fiji Ltd is the sole provider of mobile services; and Fiji International Telecommunications Ltd (FINTEL) has the monopoly on the supply of international voice and data services.

Early this year, Waradi had hinted that the telecommunication industry would be deregulated in the third quarter of this year.


7 Nov 2007

Search Engine Saturation Tool

Here's a g reat tip from Jayde Admin.

There's a lot to say for carefully targeted campaigns, but another strategy involves saturation.
After all, in just about any drawing or contest, the person with the most entries has the best shot at winning, and online campaigns can work in a similar fashion.

The Search Engine Saturation Tool will let you know how many pages you (and your competitors) have indexed with the leading search engines. Just input the URLs, and you'll be on your way to understanding the odds and achieving /search engine success.


Sitemaps for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The definitive guide to how to use Google Sitemaps, from the Google Conversion University.

This is the 'manual' way to do this of course. Those of us using dynamic websites have to be a bit more clever, although automatic sitemap generators help. In Joomla! I use Joomap...

Anyway a great article to read to get to understand the importance of Sitemaps within Google!


by Shaluinn Fullove

Have you found it difficult to rank favorably for the keywords important to your business? Are all of your web pages visible in the natural search results? Here are five ways Google Sitemaps can help you drive more potential customers to your site and improve the visibility of your content.

Let's start off with a quick look at what Google Sitemaps is – and isn't. Google Sitemaps is a service that allows you to submit ALL of your pages to the Google index. It's particularly useful for making sure that dynamically generated URLs or pages that are not adequately linked to on your site get indexed. By submitting your URLs in a Sitemap, you help Google's web crawler do a more complete and efficient job of crawling your site.

A Sitemap is simply a file with a list of all the URLs you want crawled on your site. You can create it manually or use Google's Sitemap Generator or another third party program.

But, it's important to note that submitting a Sitemap will not guarantee inclusion or influence your PageRank. It should act as a complement to compelling and useful content instead of a replacement of your SEO activities.

Read the full article here:
Conversion University - Sitemaps for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

4 Nov 2007

Search Engine Marketing Outside Your Borders - Language as Marketing Power

SEO Articles - Search Engine Marketing Outside Your Borders - Language as Marketing Power

Search Engine Marketing Outside Your Borders: Language as Marketing Power

by Robert K. McCourty

Should you have a tourism based Internet business such as an Inn or Bed and Breakfast, it's probably a good idea to keep in mind that many of your visitors may be coming from abroad. In fact, a great percentage of tourists visiting your neck of the woods do come from different countries, so it makes good business sense to market your web site accordingly.

Most major search engines have mirrored databases in several languages just for this purpose, but rarely do you find a web site presenting itself in more than one language. In my humble opinion, this is a waste of a truly great online marketing opportunity.

Read the full article here:
SEO Articles - Search Engine Marketing Outside Your Borders - Language as Marketing Power