Three Goway Idyllic Islands destination specialists recently returned from a FAM trip to the Islands of Tahiti sponsored by Goway, Tahiti Tourisme, and Air Tahiti Nui. Tracy Beverly, Janette Purdham and Nidhi Kalaiya had the opportunity to visit multiple islands in Tahiti and take part in the annual Tahiti Travel Exchange. Here, they share some memorable experiences, tips, and reasons why you should recommend the Islands of Tahiti as a great destination with lots of history and culture along with untouched beauty located in the South Pacific.
Where are the Islands of Tahiti, and how did you get there?
Tracy: The Islands of Tahiti are island paradises smack dap in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. From Los Angeles, it was an 8-hour flight to Papeete on the island of Tahiti with Air Tahiti Nui.
Janette: It’s a great destination for people looking to do multiple South Pacific islands with the option of easily connecting to Hawaii, the Cook Islands, or New Zealand.
What did you think about Tahiti Travel Exchange?
Nidhi: The Tahiti Travel Exchange was an amazing workshop event hosted by Tahiti Tourisme and other participating tour operators, airlines, and services offered through the Islands of Tahiti. In total, there were over 50 different suppliers that we interacted with, which allowed us to understand and learn their product as well as educate us on the island of Tahiti. It presented opportunities for local suppliers to showcase what is new and different and gave us insight on how we can sell the products to our clients.
Janette: It was great to have the 2019 exchange onboard the Aranui 5. It was great to experience such a unique cruise. Aranui is a working freighter that takes you out to the Marquesas Islands. We got to see all that the ship has to offer as well as experience lunch and dinner followed by a traditional Polynesian show while we were on board to close out the Tahiti Travel Exchange.
Where did you stay in Tahiti?
Tracy: We stayed at the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort by Sofitel, The Four Seasons Bora Bora, Conrad Bora Bora Nui, Le Taha’a Island Resort, Manava Suite Tahiti, and Manava Beach Moorea Resort & Spa. We also had the opportunity to visit plenty of other resorts on these islands. My personal favourite was Le Meridien Bora Bora. I just found the view throughout the resort to be incredible. The resort is more compact, and I loved the turtle sanctuary.
Nidhi: Our stay was short but sweet, and the buffet breakfasts were amazing. We headed to Bora Bora by plane (sit on the left-hand side for iconic views coming into Bora Bora) and stayed at the Four Seasons Bora Bora in a two-bedroom suite with a plunge pool. The next day we stayed at the Conrad, which is set on the hillside with stunning views of the ocean, and we each had our own overwater bungalows, which was definitely a highlight! And then we headed to Le Taha’a, which was another one of my favourite properties. There we had the opportunity to try drift snorkelling, which was a truly unique experience.
What were your favourite experiences?
Janette: I have to say I loved the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and the experience of staying in such a fabulous overwater bungalow with stunning views that went on forever. One of my favourite things was to be able to swim/snorkel off the deck in the morning.
Nidhi: There were a few highlights on this FAM. The shark and ray excursion we went on was amazing. I would have to say I wish I had more time in Moorea, Tahiti’s lesser-known island, as I fell in love with the lush vegetation and mountains. I would head back to Moorea as it has a bit of everything: culture, mountains, and the beautiful coral reef.
Tracy: I enjoyed our time on Moorea as you could see the everyday life of the Tahitian people. I couldn’t believe how warm and friendly the Tahitians I was able to interact were. They truly are beautiful people inside and out. Snorkelling was incredible; it was like swimming in an aquarium. One of my highlights for sure was the turtle sanctuary at Le Meridien Bora Bora. It is nice that they offer education on the local marine life to their guests; it enriches a guest’s experience in Bora Bora.
What’s new and exciting for 2020 in the Islands of Tahiti?
Janette: Bora Bora Pearl Resort & Spa will become part of the luxurious Relais Chateaux group of hotels. Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa is currently adding 27 new overwater bungalows along with a full renovation taking place on all the original bungalows throughout the resort to match. They now own a solar catamaran and will be offering sunset cruises where you will only hear waves as it is solar-powered and quiet. Additionally, in the main area, they will reopen offering guests a new pool bar.
Nidhi: There is a huge interest in eco-tourism. We had the opportunity to meet with suppliers that offer tours that have a focus on doing something positive with the current crisis of climate change and the destruction of the coral reefs.
Tracy: They want to do away with the use of plastic. Most resorts have coral restoration projects in place and have teamed up with biologists and local organizations such as the Coral Gardeners to assist with the coral and marine life rehabilitation.
What is your advice for agents selling the Islands of Tahiti to their clients?
Janette: Find out what your clients are looking for upfront so we can assist in developing a tailor-made itinerary to suit their every need. Ask if they are looking for diving/snorkelling, active land arrangements, spas, or are they just looking to relax on the beach. Are they looking for a luxury property or something a little more authentic? Knowing all of this in advance will only help to create the best possible itinerary to match your client’s needs.
Tracy: Many clients think of Bora Bora when they think about Tahiti; however, an amazing selling feature of the Islands of Tahiti is that clients can see several islands in one trip. Plus, a lot of people go for Bora Bora, but come back having fallen in love with a different island they didn’t expect. Most definitely send people to the gem, Bora Bora, but do not discount the other islands. As well, some of my favourite room categories were not the overwater bungalows so let your clients experience a variety.
Nidhi: Tahiti is a destination that has so much to offer. It is more than the picturesque blue waters of Bora Bora. There is culture, mountains, and food, and the many different islands each have unique things to offer. Traditionally, Tahiti has been a fantastic honeymoon destination, but we are now seeing more families and friends travel to explore the islands. For those clients on a budget, other islands such as Moorea, Huahine, and Tikehau can be incredible alternatives to Bora Bora.
Create a magical experience that allows your clients to see a little of everything. Goway’s Three Island Love Affair is a perfect option with a combination stay in Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora as it gives all the different flavours and experiences that are found throughout the Islands of Tahiti. Goway’s Idyllic Islands destination specialists are experts in customizing itineraries that include accommodations, day excursions, meal packages, spa services, inter-island flights, transfers, and international airfares. For more information and sample vacation ideas, visit Goway.com.