Google Destination Optimisation Programme for Samoa
While the negative effects of Covid on tourism in Samoa and the South Pacific have been devastating, one small silver lining is the time it’s given destinations and operators to assess and upgrade their overall online presence and navigability.
Samoa Tourism Authority has grabbed the opportunity with both hands by engaging Digital Marketing agency Miles Partnership to roll out their Destination Optimisation Programme for a much enhanced tourist experience.
“While it’s been very challenging for Samoa, with the borders closed, we were so glad to be given the opportunity to help STA and the Industry understand, improve and measure how they currently appear across Google’s products, while they have this forced downtime,” says C.A Clark, Miles Partnership South Pacific General Manager.
“Google is the single largest travel planning platform in the world, with over 90% of travellers using it at some point in their trip-planning process. We’ve done this process with over 238 other destinations around the world and it’s great to be rolling it out for Samoa as well. We know it’s going to make a huge difference to future tourism business” said Clark.
According to STA CEO Faamatuainu Lenatai Suifua “as the national tourism organisation, driving brand awareness is a key target for us and we’re thrilled that the optimisation programme significantly improves the quality of tourism business listings and Street View content on the largest travel planning platform in the world, providing for a much enhanced user-experience”.
One of the biggest undertakings in this programme has been evaluating and updating Google's Street View imagery. As Samoa currently has none, there was a huge opportunity to introduce it and improve the perception, exposure and digital representation of both islands so people can get a real idea of the places they’re searching up.
“The full capture of all sealed roads in Samoa is wrapping up now, and within the next few weeks will be processed and submitted to Google Maps,” says C.A. “When it gets uploaded it will be automatically processed to extract important data, including new roads, updated road names, business names and improved navigation and directions.”
Faamatuainu said that ‘as we near the completion of this milestone-project it is timely that we acknowledge with appreciation the assistance of the New Zealand Government and support of Miles’.
So even though travellers can’t visit Samoa right now, they will very soon be able to take a very accurate virtual tour via Google Maps - and make plans for when those borders finally re-open.