Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So you want to come to Tahiti ? well stop dreaming and start planning your holiday! (part 1)

Bora Bora photo by Greg Nagel

"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other" Douglas H. Everett

A lot of my friends tell me that I am soooo lucky to live in Tahiti and how they would loooove to come for holidays. Indeed, Tahiti and her islands seem to be everybody’s dream holiday destination. A tourist office’s dream you’d say ! Well, not really, it can actually become a nightmare when the destination you are trying to sell is first on the list of aspirational destinations but this aspiration never actually converts into travel.

Why a nightmare I hear you say ? First, most people think that just because everybody would love to visit, your job to get them to come is a walk in the park, so when the numbers of people who dream of visiting Tahiti don’t add up with the number of arrivals, they don’t understand why. Second : very often, reality is nothing like what we have dreamed of, meaning a lot of dissapointment… so imagine, you have dreamt about paradise your entire life, obviously you have high expectations of what it should be like… well that’s the sure way to be dissapointed. Most people don’t want to be surprised and discover the place as it really is, they want it to be exactly like what they expected it to be. So either they don’t come, either they come, are dissapointed and tell their friends about all about it.

Motu Teta, Rangiroa photo by Ty Sawyer@ Tahiti Tourism

Now I am not saying that the fear of being dissapointed is what stops people from coming to Tahiti. I think the first thing that stops most people from coming (and that’s the excuse everyone has given me so far) is that it’s expensive to travel to Tahiti. Fair enough, it may be cheaper to go to the Seychelles, Fidji, Maldives, Hawaii or Carribeans, but then you were just looking for an island destination, not for the paradise you’ve dreamt of your entire life, not for the Tahitian experience. Cause let’s face it, you won’t get the Tahitian way of life in the Seychelles, Maldives, Fidji, Hawaii or Carribeans, you’ll get a different experience, better or not I don’t know (I haven’t had the chance to visit these places), but that’s not the point is it ? Your ASPIRATIONAL / DREAM destination was Tahiti, not any of these other destinations. So yes, it is expensive to come to Tahiti, mainly because Tahiti is far. But once you get there, hotel prices are not that different from the prices in the Seychelles, etc.

Tupai found on flickr

"Dreams become reality when intentions become actions"

So I’d say, it’s time to stop dreaming and start planning, it’s never too early to start planning your dream holiday and if you make it a reality and decide that this is the year you will travel to Tahiti, you might actually start saving up or even better, start shopping around to find deals. You’d be surprised at how often Air Tahiti Nui joins forces with hotels and tour operators to come up with affordable packages. Do your homework : shop online, learn about high and low season in Tahiti (and I am not talking about when it rains or not ! I am talking about when the airfares and hotels offer cheaper rates), find out which tourism fair Tahiti will be represented at – that’s actually a very good tip : I was at the Travel Expo in Sydney last February and the deals some of the hotels had on offer actually made ME want to buy a package !
There are always means to get a cheaper holiday, it’s just a questions of being savvy and doing your research. So keep your eyes open, follow Tahiti Tourism fan pages for your area on Facebook, you’d be surprised to find out how many great opportunities you have missed like 2 for 1 airfares and other promotions or campaigns which allowed participants to win a Holiday to Tahiti and her islands.

view of Moorea photo by Greg Nagel

Talking about sweepstakes, those of you who live in the UK, Canada or United States, has launched its biggest sweepstake in Facebook’s history : the 1st prize : a dream Holiday for you and 5 of your friends in Tahiti and her islands ! So start playing, you never know !

If you really dream of visiting Tahiti and her islands, I am sure that you can find a way, even if it’s not the 5-star holiday you associate paradise with. Yes not everybody – including me alas - can spend their holidays at the Bora Bora St Regis or the Four Seasons… Still there are other great options available. Look for a rewarding travel experience, visit islands you’ve never heard of. After all, you can get the resort experience everywhere else… Why not experience the real Tahiti ? If you have friends here, come visit them and stay at their house, I am sure they would love to show you around… Tahitian are actually very proud of their islands and their culture and love to show it off. You’d be surprised at how excited I can get when I take friends and family on a tour of Tahiti. You’ll actually discover a lot more than if you’d come and stayed in a hotel. For those of you who don’t have friends in Tahiti, make some ! Visit blogs on Tahiti, see if your friends of Facebook have friends here, ask around, somebody might know someone and put you in touch… Get creative !

Fakarava photo by fredww found on TAHITI

Worst case scenario, you’ll at least manage to get advice from the locals on what to do and what not to do, what to expect and what not to expect…I know that I have often receive messages on A Small World from people who want information or my opinion, and I am always glad to oblige. You’d be surprised how much people love it when they think somebody values their opinion, try it !

I hope that you have the spark and at least start looking around to see what’s available. I’ll get back to you very soon with more tips on planning your holiday to Tahiti. Stay tuned !

Marquesas photo by Isabelle Ozan @ Tahiti Tourisme

1 comment:

  1. Loving your new post....
    I guess I'm one of those "dream travellers" and I always say I would love to go there and there but always end up going to the cheapest and most convenient destination...
    I guess I should start saving some money and travel to one of my dream destinations instead of just talking and dreaming about it.....



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