11 August 2010. Press Release. Tonga will be part of a Pacific Blue Group ‘ISLANDS' promotional campaign in the Australian market starting in August 2010 until June 2011. Tonga is amongst 12 island countries involved in this campaign which will be covered by an extensive and intensive media campaign across radio, online, social media, tv, newspapers, trade magazines and lift-outs, live2air inflight entertainment, Vmail subscribers, ticker messages on Yahoo7.com.au and Virgin Blue landing page. The campaign will target Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The campaign will target couples aged between 20-50 years old with high disposable income with no children or the children have left home in the holiday/vacations market segment primarily, as well as the family market. The Holiday/Vacation market segment from Australia has dropped slightly in 2009 compared to 2008 and preliminary figures for the first quarter of 2010 shows the trend is continuing.
This promotional campaign comes on the back of a declining air visitors market from Australia in the first quarter of 2010 by 14% from 2,011 in 2009 to 1726 in 2010. Pacific Blue has two direct flights to Tonga a week from Sydney with 720 seats weekly. Total air visitors to Tonga from Australia in 2009 were 11,598 compared to 11,498 in 2008. Air Visitors arrivals from Australia (as in our other main source markets) is dominated by the Visiting Friends and Relatives market segment making up 48% in 2009 compared to 37% of the holiday/vacation market segment in the same year.
The Director of Tourism, Sakopo Lolohea said the joint campaign with Pacific Blue is a major initiative as well as an important part of our recovery program in Australia. In addition the campaign will cover two low travel periods - September - November 2010 and February to April 2011. This is always part of our goal to promote our low seasons and the campaign will target this period as well.
The joint campaign is not the only campaign in Australia, we are continuing to target the backpackers market segment as well as special interest/soft adventure market segment in addition to the VFR market segment, said Sakopo Lolohea.
Apart from the Pacific Blue/Tonga initiative we are also reviving the Tonga/Fiji combination in view of the Air Pacific new management to give us more options and additional products in the Australia market.
MINISTRY OF TOURISM,