Owning a Tourism Business is awesome

25 Jan 2016

LinkedIn Mistakes: Top 5 Ways to Kill Your Credibility

Any of these 5 mistakes could turn your LinkedIn profile into a major professional liability.

Here's how to identify them--and get them fixed.

Don't make these mistakes.

Inc.com’s Jeff Haden recently posted some suggestions for improving a LinkedIn profile. While he’s provided some fabulous advice, it will all be wasted effort if you make the following classic LinkedIn errors:

1. Post an Unprofessional Photo

The most common error is a candid photo that looks like Aunt Mildred (or her grandchild) snapped it on a cellphone, but that’s not the worst.  I’ve seen women in conservative professions post a profile photo that showed the kind of cleavage normally reserved for a nightclub.  Similarly, some bald guys seem unaware that their pate is reflecting light, an effect that is particularly gruesome when the shiny spot is visible through the comb-over.
Fix it: Have a professional photographer shoot a roll of publicity photos and have somebody objective (not your spouse!) choose the best photo from the shoot.

2: Solicit Fawning Recommendations

Recommendations are supposed to make you MORE credible, but they have the opposite effect when comments are too effusive. Don’t kid yourself: If you’ve propped up your pals to be your personal sock puppets, somebody is going to notice, and it will probably the wrong somebody.  It’s a major warning sign to the business-savvy when a recommendation is heavy on the superlatives, but light on real substance.
Fix it: Only approve the display of recommendations that describe actions that you personally took, along with the specific, quantifiable effect of those actions on the organization where you worked.

3. Link to an Overly Personal Web Page

Your LinkedIn profile encapsulates your professional life, providing a window onto who you are (or aspire to be) in the workplace.  Unfortunately, some people wrongly believe that their personal life is relevant–when in fact the people you work with (or for) are not interested in your hobbies and so forth, except insofar as they provide reasons why you might hand in a project late.

It’s even worse is if your personal site is truly flaky. I know one woman whose profile links to the memorial page for a dead horse.
Fix it: Only link off to a “personal” site if it’s a professional site (like one where you run a business). As far as possible, keep your personal life invisible to the business world.

4. Provide a Trail to a Youthful Indiscretion

People who use LinkedIn to research individuals with whom they might be working are usually smart enough to do a little extra Googling, based upon the information in your LinkedIn profile. Since your profile contains your academic experience, such a search might turn up some real credibility killers–like photos from that kegger where you got half-naked.
Fix it: First, only provide information that’s relevant to where you’re taking your career. That may or may not include your academic background (and definitely should NOT include your high school info).  Second, experiment with different search combinations based upon what’s in your profile. If undesirable stuff pops up, either figure out how to expunge it or change your profile.  Worst case, change your name.  Don’t laugh.  It’s been done.

5. Any Misspellings Whatsoever

I am the world’s worst proofreader of my own stuff, so I’m willing to bet that my own LinkedIn profile has a bunch of typos in it.  But then, my credibility (such as it is) comes from my professional writing, not my LinkedIn profile.

For most people, rightly or wrongly, spelling and grammatical errors in your profile are going to make people think that you’re either stupid or careless. Or both.  I ran across one guy whose profile showed he worked at “Hewlitt-Packard.”  True story.
Fix it: Hire a professional copy editor to go through your profile and fix any errors.  For most profiles, that will probably cost you about $50 at most


18 Jan 2016

2015 – Extraordinary Year for Tourism in Fiji | The official website of Tourism Fiji

Genuine collaboration amongst tourism industry stakeholders and an enabling economic environment to invest in the growth and development of the Fijian tourism industry are the key reasons behind the record 754,835 visitor arrivals to Fiji in 2015.

Tourism Fiji’s visitor arrivals target for 2015 was set at 714,000.

Increases were recorded from all of Tourism Fiji’s key source markets, with traditional markets Australia and New Zealand making 67.1 per cent of the total.

2015 – Extraordinary Year for Tourism in Fiji

11 Jan 2016

What is Skål?

I have had a few conversations in the past few weeks with some people about 'who can join Skål?" and "how do they do it". So here is some background info for you all .

Who can join Skål?

The official line is :
"Membership of Skål is open to all qualified professional persons in the travel and tourism industry."

What is Skål?

Skål is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. 
Its members, the industry's managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.

The first Club was founded in 1932 in Paris by travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia. The idea of international goodwill and friendship grew and, in 1934, the “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs” was formed with Florimond Volckaert as its first President, who is considered the “Father of Skål”.

Skål International today has approximately 22,000 members in more than 500 Clubs throughout 90 nations. Most activities occur at local levels, moving up through National Committees, under the umbrella of Skål International, headquartered at the General Secretariat in Torremolinos, Spain.

Skål International is governed by an Executive Committee of seven members, elected by delegates to an annual General Assembly, held during the World Congress, hosted by a different country each year. This allows members first-hand observation of the travel and tourism potential around the world.

7 Jan 2016

Five ways a booking engine will make your life easier

There's no question tourism businesses everywhere need to be online. Having a decent website is even more critical if your property is located on a beautiful remote island in the South Pacific.
A rapidly increasing 66%* of New Zealanders and 70%* of Australians book and research their holiday accommodation online. These two countries bring the most guests to the South Pacific, so it's important to be available online to capture their attention.

Even better still, you should allow these potential guests to check what rooms are available and when, and then enable them to book and pay for their room online, all while they are viewing your website.

It's very common for properties in remote areas to ask their potential customers to phone or email them to make a reservation versus being able to look and book online; this can be inconvenient for the customer and time consuming for you.

In some cases it's because the internet on the island or region may be weak or non existent; but this doesn't change the demands of potential guests who have great internet connection and really want to book and pay online.

Another common scenario is for properties to send potential guests away from their own website to a third party booking engine, like Booking.com, which is a supermarket of other properties in your area for guests to choose from instead of yours.

A recent study by Nomura Group revealed Booking.com and Expedia.com (Hotels.com) control more than 65%** of the European indirect online hotel sales. It’s surprising how many property owners accept paying sometimes 15% commission to online travel agents (OTAs), yet don't want to spend money on improving their own website for potential customers.

A smart website and integrated booking engine are the most effective way to truly engage your guests online, and when done well, it will increase your revenue and reduce your commission costs.

Booking engines make your life easier in 5 simple ways:
  1. You are paid in advance - Generate bookings in real time and get the money deposited directly in your bank account
  2. You don't need to wait by the phone - Enable clients to see rates and what rooms are available and when, without needing to call or email you
  3. You can plan ahead - Direct bookings makes it easier for you to plan your property availability, and determine future income and costs
  4. You will save time - Clients, just like you, may not have the time to send and receive multiple emails and want the ease of just booking immediately online
  5. You can measure performance - Having an online booking engine can provide valuable information about when and where your bookings are coming from; including your most popular rooms and typical guest profile