FijiMe  newsletter July 2011

Fiji records best ever April for international visitor arrivals

Figures released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics show the destination welcomed a total of 55,043 international visitors in April 2011.

The figure represents an impressive 23.7 per cent increase over the 44,496 total achieved across the same period in the record-breaking 2010, in the process setting a new April record for international visitation.

The April intake brings the destination’s 2011 four month international visitor arrivals to 186,634, an 8.9 per cent increase over the 171,438 recorded from January-April 2010.

Australian visitor arrivals again continued to dominate Fiji’s international visitor April intake with a total of 27,335 Australians – an Australian record for a month of April - visiting the destination.

New Zealand visitation figures too increased with a total of 7,735 New Zealanders arriving in April.

This represents a 22.4 per cent increase over the 6,320 recorded for the same period in 2010 and helped to establish the destination’s strongest April performance in the New Zealand market for four years.

USA figures stayed steady with the 16,094 visitor arrival figure just 54 shy – 0.3 per cent – of the 16,148 recorded across April 2010.

Canada and UK/Europe numbers both increased for the month by 13.9 per cent and 6.9 per cent, respectively.

China again was the star percentage increase performer, the 8,759 figure recorded for April representing a 50.11 per cent increase over the same period in 2010.

For further information, please contact the Tourism Fiji’s executive office at or marketing officer, Mr Iowane Naivalurua at

Campo signs on as Event Ambassador for Fiji’s Coral Coast 7’s Tournament

Campo  signs on as Event Ambassador for Fiji’s Coral Coast 7’s  Tournament Fiji’s Coral Coat 7’s tournament, to be held on Fiji’s Coral Coast in November has today announced high profile former Wallaby David Campese will be the events ambassador and technical adviser for one of the teams competing.

An Australian Rugby legend Campo, who played 101 tests in his 15-year career, will attend the two-day tournament in November.

Campese will assist the Navosa Warriors as their technical advisor under team coach Aisea Tuilevu, a former Fijian Rugby representative.

Joining Campese from Australia and representing the country for the first time will be the Brisbane Nadroga/Navosa team coached by another famous Fijian surname from the world of rugby - Elia Tuqiri (Jnr).

To date this team has won two tournaments – the 2010 Byron International Sevens and the Fiji Day Sevens.

Team members include the Kuridrani brothers, Tevita and Chris, who played for the Australian Sevens and in the Australian under 20 side and Queensland Reds Academy.

New Zealand Rugby has also put its support behind the tournament and is entering two teams - the New Zealand Fiji Barbarians, coached by New Zealand union great Amasio Valence and Rangataua from the Bay of Plenty coached by Valence’s former teammate, now turned television presenter, Matua Parkinson.

The Coral Coast 7’s, held on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November and this year will see 24 premier teams including 16 local teams and for the first time up to eight overseas teams battle it out in over 60 matches during the two day tournament.

For further information, and a range of accommodation/tour packages for spectators travelling from overseas visit

Fiji earns ‘Top Five Honeymoon Destination’ spot

Fiji  earns ‘Top Five Honeymoon Destination’ spot Fiji has been ranked one of the world’s top five honeymoon destinations on the highly influential online travel portal.

The accolade follows the publication of an article on the travel website detailing the results of a recent online poll conducted by the US-based ‘Brides’ magazine with top travel agents from the leading internationally spread Signature Travel Network.

In an article published on 14 June, the magazine’s travel editor Jacqueline Gifford described Fiji as the “ultimate 'Gilligan's Island' fantasy come to life.".

Ms Gifford described Fiji's private island resorts “as just what you're looking for if you've ever imagined your honeymoon as a secluded escape.”

"It's the ultimate but with various price ranges for different islands, you can more affordably stay in a beach-front private cottage or bure,” she said. "For people who like to be by the water, Fiji's islands are great. You see other people, but it still feels private -- nothing like a big resort."

For further information, please contact the Tourism Fiji’s executive office at

Fiji enjoys increased business from North American C&I market

Fiji is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a venue for the lucrative North American meetings, incentive and conference business.

The destination last month overcame strong international opposition to host the huge US-based LagasseSweet Group at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa.

The event saw more than 400 of the international distribution company’s customers, one of the biggest US groups seen in Fiji in four years, enjoy a five-day stay at the resort.

Tourism Fiji Regional Director – The Americas, Ili Matatolu said winning the opportunity to stage the LagasseSweet event was a major score for the national tourist office given that the company has traditionally chosen African, Asian, Middle Eastern and European venues for its incentive events.

“This is one of the biggest North American groups we have seen since 2007 when we hosted the 1300-strong Edward Jones incentive group,” Ms Matatolu said.

“Despite the economic downturn, the US incentive market is making a comeback particularly in the areas of insurance, finance, IT and the pharmaceutical industry.

“We already have several smaller groups confirmed for the remainder of the year and two further large groups constituting 395 and 358 participants already confirmed for April 2012 so it would appear Fiji is very much back in vogue in the North American market.”

For further information, please contact Regional Director The Americas, Ms Ili Matatolu at

Plank Me - Fiji Me’ – Kiwi agents introduce ‘planking’ to Fiji

Fiji earns  ‘Top Five Honeymoon Destination’ spot

Taking time out from a very hectic Tourism Fiji educational program last week, several Kiwi agents raised lots of laughs – and more than a few eyebrows too – when they decided to introduce the locals to the latest craze sweeping the globe – ‘planking’.

Pictured giving a more than able demonstration of the fad, Fiona Watt, of Harvey World Travel, Miramar, who ‘planked’ at the Musket Cove Marina while visiting the Mamanuca Islands resort.

Planking to one side, Fiona was one of 18 Kiwi agents participating in the ‘Cherish Me – Fiji Me’ educational program specifically designed to showcase the destination’s ability to deliver in the wedding, honeymoon and romantic travel sector.

The event involved more than 30 properties located in Suva, Pacific Harbour, the Coral Coast, Denarau and the Mamanucas.

A key component of the overall exercise was the workshop presented by Tourism Fiji head office staff designed to update the agents on the latest developments taking place within Fiji while providing the agents with the specialised tools they need to effectively sell the destination’s romantic travel product.

For further information, please contact Tourism Fiji’s Regional Director, Ms Sala Toganivalu at

Tourism Fiji to hit the road with Nadi/Denarau road show

Building on the success achieved from its inaugural Mamanuca ‘regional New Zealand road show in March, Tourism Fiji will keep the focus on the destination’s ‘regional’ aspect with a dedicated event showcasing the Nadi/Denarau area scheduled in August.

Taking place in Wellington, Napier, Hamilton, Auckland and Whangarei from 15-19 August, the national tourist office and Air Pacific will be joined on the road by nine Nadi/Denarau-based hotel and resort operators.

Targeting wholesale and retail travel partners in each area visited, Tourism Fiji Regional Director New Zealand, Sala Toganivalu said that as with the recent Mamanuca road show, the August event would have a double-edged purpose.

“Our main objectives are to both educate front line travel professionals on Destination Fiji and Nadi/Denarau as a region,” she said. “The end result is making sure those agents attending are well equipped with a sound knowledge of Fiji and the tools they need in order for them to confidently sell the destination to their clients.

“Our focus is simple – we need to ensure that agents leave each event knowing the attributes of the Nadi/Denarau region, that they know the products available within that region and just as importantly, they are able to relate the product to the region and vice versa.” Dates and locations for the road show are as follows:

  • 15 August in Wellington (James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel)
  • 16 August in Napier (The Crown Hotel)
  • 17 August in Hamilton (Novotel Tainui)
  • 18 August in Auckland (Crowne Plaza)
  • 19 August in Whangarei (Kingsgate Hotel)

For further information, please contact Tourism Fiji’s Regional Marketing Officer, New Zealand, Ms Ragigia Dawai at


ROLEX  PARTNERSHIP TIMELY FOR NOMURA CUP Adding further prestige to Fiji’s hosting of the 25th Nomura Cup in August, world-renowned watch manufacturer and major sporting event sponsor Rolex has announced it will partner the National Golf Association of Fiji (NGAF) in staging the event.

One of the biggest names in international sport since 1927 when it first sponsored British cross-Channel swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, the Swiss-based company today is synonymous with tennis, sailing, motor racing, athletics and now Fijian golf!

A total of 26 golf nations have now been signed up for the event which takes place from 16-19 August at Denarau Island and Natadola Beach.

The first Pacific nation to stage the event, Fiji’s hosting of the 2011 tournament will for the first time see the Nomura Cup played across two courses.

For further information, please contact the Tourism Fiji’s executive office at

Fiji Trip Part of The Bachelorette Getaway Sweepstakes

The latest reality star in search of a soul mate on The Bachelorette now being televised in the US may discover her ideal later on this season on the Fiji Islands.

Fiji Trip Part of The Bachelorette Getaway Sweepstakes And one lucky viewer of the ABC series and a guest will get the chance to follow in her footsteps of the reality TV romantic as one of the grand prize winners of “The Bachelorette Ultimate Getaway Sweepstakes” promotion running at the same time as the program is being aired.

The winning traveling twosome will receive a nine-day/eight-night getaway to Fiji, where they will enjoy a four night stay at Namale Resort and four nights at Vomo Island Resort Fiji with return airfares being provided by Air Pacific.
Entries for” The Bachelorette Ultimate Getaway Sweepstakes” will be accepted through August 7, 2011.

DRT 2011

Tourism Fiji, Air Pacific and Industry partners participated at the Diving Resort & Travel Expo that was held in Hong Kong from the 8th – 10th July 2011.

The main thrust of the exercise is to underline Fiji’s ability to deliver a world-class product to the international dive fraternity, many of whom will be attending the Hong Kong event.

Joining Tourism Fiji & Air Pacific were Nukubati Private Island, Sonaisali Island Resort, Rosie Holidays, Beqa Lagoon Resort, Beqa Adventure Divers and Matava Resort.

For further information, please contact marketing officer, Ms Kelly Eastgate at


FIJI ISLANDS BACKPACKER FORUM Officially opened by the Permanent Secretary for Public Enterprise, Tourism and Communications, Ms Elizabeth Powell, the Fiji Islands Backpacker Forumthat was held at the Tanoa Skylodge on 24th June has been hailed an outstanding success.

Tourism Fiji CEO, Josefa Tuamoto who spoke at the event said the national tourist office would continue to encourage backpackers to visit the country and assured the audience his organisation’s global marketing activity encompasses all type of visitors and accommodation – and not just top end luxury hotels and resorts.

Other speakers included Dr. Jeff Jarvis, Tourism Research Unit from Monash University, Australia; Peter Ovenden, Chairman of ATEC BYI Conference/ Global Gossip, Australia; Errol Fifer, F.I.B.A President and Managing Director of Nadi Bay Hotel; Joseph Lowe, Chief Commercial Officer, Air Pacific; Steve Reid, Managing Director, Webmedia; Darin McDonald, CEO South Sea Cruises and Awesome Adventures Fiji, and Leigh Efferion, Manager for the Yasawa Trust Fund Foundation: Yasawa Trust Foundation.

For further information, please contact marketing officer, Ms Kesaia Marau at

Fiji Scoops Top Awards at International Tourism Show

Fiji Scoops Top Awards at International Tourism Show

Fiji's booth at the International Tourism Exposition (ITE) 2011 has picked up two major awards at the event. Fiji's presentation, jointly mounted by Tourism Fiji, Air Pacific and Fiji industry partners including Rosie Holidays, Nukubati Private Island, The Pearl South Pacific Resort and Sheraton Fiji Resort, won first prize in a facebook competition organised by U Magazine at the venue for the event, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Visitors to ITE 2011 were invited to click 'like" on which presentation they enjoyed the most on the exhibition's Facebook page with Fiji topping the poll when all "likes" were tallied.

The Fiji booth also scooped the ‘Most Impromptu Tour’ title, the award also based on online voting.

Feedback received from judges awarding the decision indicated they had been overly impressed with the destination’s portrayal of several of its key attractions and in particular, its beautiful beaches and ocean activities with shark diving at Beqa Lagoon getting a special mention.

For further information, please contact marketing officer, Mr Kiniviliame Raicebe at

Australian Matai Conference bound for the Coral Coast

To be staged in Fiji for the first time the 2011 Australian Matai Convention will be held at the Shangri-La’s The Fijian Resort & Spa from 04-07 August.

For more information please contact Ms Vivienne Valentine at

Industry News

Savusavu Island Cruising Regatta 2011

Fiji  Scoops Top Awards at International Tourism Show

Held from 24 June - 02 July the event this year saw 23 yachts from New Zealand take part while local participants including child sailors all members of Savusavu Kids Sailing Association, numbered in excess of 100 people helping to bring the total number of yachts involved to 55 in Savusavu Bay.

The main purpose of the annual event is to draw attention to Savusavu as a prime sailing destination within Fiji and the hotel and resort infrastructure on offer in the area.

Aside from creating a warm, fun and welcoming atmosphere for participating cruisers the event also acts as a fundraising arm to promote ‘Kids sailing’ in the area.

This year four Savusavu children are representing Fiji at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia and a portion of funds realised at the regatta will go towards expenses for this trip.

Additional funds raised go towards ensuring a high standard of training for children from all walks of life who are interested in sailing.

For further information, please contact Tourism Fiji’s Marketing Officer, Ms Alisi Lutu at

Nadi Bula Festival

The Nadi Vodafone Bula Festival will this year be celebrated on the 15 – 23 July 2011.

The week long event is filled up with activities and themed nights. These include follow the marching-band parades, the sparkly Miss Bula pageant, traditional Fijian costumes and dance, a Pacific dancing contest, a Bollywood night and stacks of other fun and cultural events.

For further information, please visit


Storck Cruises has introduced a new day cruise option to tranquil Savala Island aboard its popular ‘Oolalala’.

Departing from Denarau Marina at 10.00 am daily, the day cruise includes a lavish lunch, onboard entertainment supplied by the crew, handicraft lessons, snorkeling expeditions and time to enjoy the beaches of this remote, idyllic island.

For further information, please visit

Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island goes Blu!

Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island goes Blu! On 1st July 2011, Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island became Radisson Blu Resort Fiji, Denarau Island.

The change is focused on establishing this luxury brand in the Asia Pacific and aligning with Europe, the Middle East and Africa where Radisson Blu represents a highly successful, award –winning brand with over 200 hotels and resorts in its portfolio.

General Manager, Greg Maloney said he and his team were excited to be part of the Radisson BLU transition in our region.

“The message is clear – this speaks about our commitment to the industry and our clients offering a more customer focused product and delivering a complete and diverse experience within our Market,” he said.

For further information, please contact Director of Sales & Marketing, Ms Shashita Nand at

Dive Adrenalin Goes Five Star

Dive Adrenalin, located on Denarau Island, has been awarded the prestigious 5 Star Dive Center rating by The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Dive Adrenalin Goes Five Star Dive Adrenalin Manager and PADI Course Director Andrew Redfern said he was delighted to have been presented with this rating. ”The next step in our evolution will be to progress to 5 Star Instructor Development Center and begin training Dive Instructors, both local and from overseas”.

Dive Adrenalin is part of the Adrenalin group of companies who provide a wide range of adventure activities such as hot air ballooning, boat charters, surf lessons, jet boat rides, jet ski safaris, a village tour and much more.

For further information please visit or


Best Western Australasia has announced its presence in Fiji with three properties joining the company portfolio - the Best Western Hexagon International Hotel, Nadi Best Western Grand West's Villas, Nadi and the Best Western Suva Motor Inn.

Rob Anderson, Chief Executive for Best Western Australasia said Fiji was a key destination for Australians and New Zealanders, for both business and pleasure.

“We are excited to bring the Best Western brand, known for its consistent high standards, friendly service and terrific value, into Fiji".

The four-star Best Western Hexagon International Hotel boasts poolside rooms, studios or family-friendly two-bedroom apartments. Facilities include a poolside restaurant, bar, three swimming pools, tour desk and conference rooms. A complimentary Nadi airport shuttle service and babysitting make it easy to travel and stay in Fiji.

Dolphin Island Resort re-opens

Dolphin  Island Resort re-opens

Following an extensive period of renovation and refurbishment, Dolphin Island Fiji has re-opened for business.

The exclusive resort is Located just 20 minutes by boat from the Wananavu Resort jetty in Rakiraki.

For further information, please visit

Holidays with Kids Magazine names Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa Fiji Islands “Best Family Resort” for fifth consecutive year

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa has, for the fifth consecutive year, been named number one of the ‘Best Ten Resorts for Families 2011 in Fiji,’ as part of a Holidays with Kids magazine online survey.

Readers were asked to vote for the best family friendly resort that they have encountered and to rank their nominations based on fixed criteria which included activities and facilities for children, childcare and babysitting services, staff hospitality, standard of accommodation, location, accessibility, safety, fun for the entire family, value for money and overall experience.

Holidays with Kids Magazine names Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort &  Spa Since the inception of the Holidays with Kids awards in 2003, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa has been consistently ranked in the top 10 resorts and from 2006 has occupied the top spot as the number one family resort in Fiji and the Pacific region.

Cathy Wagstaff, the Holidays with Kids publisher and editor, said the resort was awarded this honour for its outstanding holiday appeal and facilities for families.

“This is a major achievement and a credit to the establishment and the staff that manage it,’’ she said .

Holidays with Kids is the highest circulating travel publication that goes out to consumers as well as travel agents in Australia. It is also distributed in-lounge and in-flight with several airlines including Qantas and Garuda and in-store at McDonald’s restaurants and Rebel Sports stores throughout Australia.

Details of each of the top 10 properties are posted on the Holidays with Kids website, which receives over 5.5 million hits, and up to 1.8 million page views per month.

For more information please contact Communications Manager, Ms Lata Yaqona at or visit

Radisson Blu also named as a Top 10 Family-Friendly Resort

Radisson Blu also named as a Top 10 Family-Friendly Resort

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji, Denarau Island has also been named one of Australia’s Top 10 Family-Friendly Resorts – Fiji for 2011 by ‘Holidays with Kids’ magazine.

For further information, please contact Director of Sales & Marketing, Ms Shashita Nand at

Ocean Futures marine biology course in Fiji

Leading US marine biologist Dr Richard Murphy of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Futures Society visited Fiji this month June to run a unique 10 day course studying marine ecosystems and their role in the planet’s future.

Basing themselves at Daku Resort and the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu, participants enjoyed snorkelling on the nearby reefs, exploring mangrove ecosystems, walking in rainforests and receiving daily lectures from Dr Murphy and his colleague Jill Caporale, professor of biology at Northern Virginia Community College.

The courses, Dr Murphy said, provide a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in these areas to learn from some of the top scientists in the field, to be inspired by their commitment and to experience the marine environment first hand.

Further info:

Open Air Movie Nights at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

Open Air  Movie Nights at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Exclusive to guests staying at the Sofitel, movies on the village green is a free event that is held every Wednesday and Saturday night during the school holidays.

Complete with big screen, oversized cushions and woven mats for comfort, the outdoor event kicks off at 6.15 pm with free popcorn for everyone and a cartoon preview for children followed by a main feature film.

For further information, please

Fiji Surf ‘n’ Spa

Fiji  Surf ‘n’ Spa Senikai Spas has joined forces with Fiji Surf Co. to combine the best of surfing and massage at Fiji’s hottest surf spots. Departing from Denarau marina on a 50ft catamaran this day surfing charter is ideal for all levels of surfers, families and those who just want a unique experience right here in Fiji. Passengers can treat themselves to a massage onboard.

For further information, please contact Sales and marketing manager, Ms Rachel Kraljik-Inukihagana at

Outrigger shares the Bula Spirit…caring for the community

The ‘Bula spirit was blossoming at the Conua District school when 10 members of the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji food and beverage and engineering team completely re-furbished the bathrooms at the Conua District school.

The facilities were re-piped, re-painted and tiled with broken elements fixed or replaced. The team also built a covered concrete footpath allowing students to walk between the bathrooms and classrooms while being protected from the sun or rain.

For further information, please contact

Volunteer tourism segment developed

As different trends evolve within the travel industry, volunteer tourism is one segment that’s gaining momentum and hoping to capitalise on this soon to be thriving segment is Nadi Business woman Cathy Kumar who has set up a company called Build-A-Bridge volunteer Fiji.

Oversees volunteers with skills, experts in various fields or who just have a good heart and genuine desire to serve the people can sign up for placements in schools, care homes and community centres.

Volunteering is a concept that’s gaining a lot of popularity around the world. For tourists nowadays it’s not just about visiting places but making a difference in the lives of people.

For furtherr information, please contact Cathy Kumar at

New appointment at Sofitel

Javed Shameem has been appointed Business Development Executive at the Sofitel Resort & Spa.

Mr Shameem, who will be taking responsibility for the corporate market, has many years experience in the tourism industry, most recently working for Rosie Tours.

For further information, please contact the Director of Sales & Marketing, Mr Nicholas Mina at

Treasure House - Nadi

Treasure House is a children’s orphanage located in Nadi and run by a consortium of local churches with overseas assistance provided by several charities.

The orphanage primarily provides a loving home for under privileged children orphaned through tragic circumstances however several of the children currently resident there have arrived as a result of domestic crisis and violence, deep poverty, drug, alcohol or sex abuse.

Treasure House regularly welcomes volunteers from all over the world – some on a long term basis while others help out for a couple of days while visiting the Fiji Islands.

Importantly certain requirements, such as providing CV’s, referees and police clearance, are a necessity. This is in line with world international standards of volunteer service.

Volunteers are requested to contact Treasure House directly. Full information can be found on the orphanage’s website located at

Senikai Spas Fiji – Tokoriki Island Resort

Senikai  Spas Fiji – Tokoriki Island Resort Ease your senses whilst surrounded by the trickling water at the newly built Spa at Tokoriki Island Resort, managed by Senikai Spas Fiji.

The beautiful and spacious facility features the soothing sounds of water that relax the mind and body. Upon your arrival unwind in the Spa Lounge with a relaxing foot ritual as you are prepared for your spa pamper. Follow the stepping stones to your very own treatment bure where you can indulge in therapeutic massage, pampering facials or one of our specially designed spa packages. Your Spa pamper is complete with a cleansing sorbet.

Using our locally produced natural skin and body care range, Essence of Viti promotes total rejuvenation and wellbeing with its richness of local marine and plant extracts. Our skin and body care products are a fitting accompaniment to this captivating spa.

The Spa ambience evokes peace, calm and serenity.

For further information, please contact Sales and marketing manager, Ms Rachel Kraljik-Inukihagana

Fiji and Tahiti eBooks

Fiji and  Tahiti eBooks Avalon Travel has released the eBook editions of Moon Fiji and Moon Tahiti, the leading travel guidebooks to the South Pacific. They are now available in the Kindle store at Amazon, in the Nook store at, on the Kobo at Borders, on iTunes for the Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and at the Sony Reader store.

Moon Fiji is the original travel guide to the Fiji Islands while Moon Tahiti covers all five archipelagos of French Polynesia. Author David Stanley has been writing about the South Pacific since 1979. Moon Tahiti is now in its seventh edition and Moon Fiji is in its ninth. Each 400-page guidebook contains over 50 maps and 100 photos.

By ordering online, readers receive the electronic editions of Moon Fiji and Moon Tahiti instantly worldwide without customs duties or shipping costs. In addition, each eBook costs half what is charged for the printed edition. The launch of the Fiji and Tahiti eBooks allows Pacific travelers to download their favorite guides in under a minute. For Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and Sony users, it’s definitely the way to go!

For more information please contact:

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