Here are some of the amazing success stories that have come about as a result of PT&I's work in the Pacific Islands region.
Export Success Stories
Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s Creative Arts Program is assisting a group of artists from Papua New Guinea to present their art to international art buyers and collectors in commercial gallery exhibitions.
Ömie Artists is a cooperative of tribeswomen from remote villages in the mountainous interior of Oro Province in Papua New Guinea who paint traditional ceremonial barkcloths. Now also produced for a high-end art market, the Ömie barkcloths are keenly sought after by international art institutions and private collectors.
In 2008 Tongan export business, Export Culture, successfully launched Kingdom Fresh. In their first year of operation, the business exported fourteen 20- foot containers of produce to New Zealand. With Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s assistance, Kingdom Fresh is now focused on expanding into the Australian and US markets.
Over 12 months, Ni-Vanuatu spice producer Venui Vanilla’s exports to Australia grew by 18%. The company’s success has also spearheaded the Vanuatu Spices Network, a group of more than 200 organic-certified producers, organized under the umbrella of the Farm Support Association (FSA) in Vanuatu.
Through Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s assistance in identifying Australian buyers and organising in-market visits and sample provisions, Venui Vanilla has secured a distributor for its spice products in Australia.
Since 2008, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest has assisted Kiribati based KiriCraft Central Pacific in marketing their recreational power catamarans in Australia and New Zealand. The business is providing jobs for I-Kiribati, and in just two years the business has secured more than AUD$1.78 million in sales.
Pacific Islands Trade & Invest is helping transform a Papua New Guinean tradition into economic success through the international promotion of one its iconic creative industries, bilum.
For centuries, the skill of weaving bilum – a bag made from dried fibre extracted from tree bark, animal fur, sisal or vine – has been passed down from one generation of women to the next. Traditionally, bilum bags were used to carry babies, food or tools, but until recently their economic value to Papua New Guinean communities was overlooked.
Investment Success Stories
A pilot project conducted by Pacific Islands Trade & Invest with the Solomon Islands Small Medium Enterprise Council in 2008, has helped facilitate banking loans worth more than SBD$2million to small-medium sized businesses in the region.
A unique surf tourism business in the Solomon Islands is paving the way for a sustainable business model that promises to deliver tourist dollars and broader investment into the region.
Surf Solomons offers community-based surf camps and holidays off the usual tourist path combined with the opportunity to visit remote village communities, stay with local families and experience traditional tribal life.
Tourism success stories
Like many small tourism operators not only in the Pacific Islands but also around the world, the owners of Le Vasa Resort in Samoa faced the challenge of how to compete against the ‘big players’ in the travel industry at a time when the ever-increasing shift to online travel planning and booking was leaving them behind. With the launch of a joint initiative between Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I), South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and WHL Group to support SMME tourism operations in 2012, Le Vasa Resort has built its capacity to sell more rooms through effective online marketing and distribution.
Since 2012, PT&I has supported tourism development via its programme “Digital Tourism” aimed at providing operators with the online tools (responsive websites, booking and distribution systems) to enable them to grow both direct bookings as well as those from third party OTA sites. Since the programme’s inception, 32 workshops have been delivered to 501 participants across the Marshall Islands, FSM, Palau, Niue, Tuvalu, PNG, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji. As a result, 249 website have been launched and in the 12 months to end April 2016 some AU$6.4million dollars of sales were made.
PT&I is continuing to support this successful programme in 2016, only that we are now building on the work done previously by showing operators how to leverage the tools they have at their disposal to undertake some advanced digital marketing work. There are many channels to market which operators need to understand and tap in order to be successful such as search engines, social media sites, OTA sites, wholesalers etc. and our program activities will show how to do this via a series of workshops, one-on-one strategy sessions and assistance in setting up professional digital marketing packages. PT&I is also offering financial support to operators wanting new responsive websites and booking / distribution tools etc. on a first come first served basis, however numbers are limited.
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