Fiji luxury resort's huge win thanks to Michelle Obama

As the US Presidential campaign reaches an even more shrill fever pitch with each passing day, a trending hashtag on social media generated by Michelle Obama has cast a gigantic spotlight on a small private island resort in the South Pacific.

The hashtag is #vomo – which stands for ‘Vote Or Miss Out’ – but there is also a well-known luxury Fiji resort named Vomo as well.

Given the state of presidential race, those interested to find out more about Mrs. Obama’s #vomo campaign and subsequent television broadcast generated a massive increase in Google searches for the acronym.

That was enough to increase traffic to the resort’s website by 85 percent, and give a 122 percent increase in search impressions overall, providing free brand exposure and travel enquiries from interested US citizens wanting to know more about the island.

Vomo is already a favourite of a number of VIPs with regular guests including models Elle Macpherson and  Jennifer Hawkins, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco, Olympian Ian Thorpe and rugby union players Matt Giteau and John Eales.

This is what a family holiday looks like on Vomo, taken in April this year just before the Fiji government effectively closed down international travel to the South Pacific country in response to the coronavirus

Vomo’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Karen Marvell, said the exposure was ‘serendipitous.’

Ms Marvell said, ‘We’re more than happy to share #vomo with such a great cause. And of course we’re loving the new exposure that has allowed our brand to be seen by a larger audience. It’s been quite the welcome windfall during such a turndown in business due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. We’re excited our beautiful island home has been discovered in such a serendipitous way.’

Full disclosure: the writer of this article is a Fiji citizen and as a very young boy used to go to Vomo Island regularly on weekends before it was developed. Alas, he received no payment or value in kind for penning this piece.

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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