The 2017 Fiji Tourism Exchange (FTE) kicked off on Wednesday, opening its doors this year to a record number of agents, and over 160 buyers from around the globe.
With a combination of established and new operators exhibiting, this year’s FTE provides plenty of great opportunities for both buyers and sellers to engage, and learn more about the many new and unique properties and services that this fabulous Pacific Nation offers.
FTE – Day 1
Highlights of the day
A briefing from Jason Kruse – GM of the new Six Senses Malolo Island
The 26 villa resort Malolo Island property, scheduled to open later in 2017, marks the first foray by Six Senses into the South Pacific, and heralds a busy three years ahead, with Six Senses opening 12 new properties including Tuscany, Ibiza, New York, Bhutan and Bali.
The new luxury Fiji resort will offer all of the luxury hallmarks of the Six Senses brand, catering for all holidaymakers including families, couples and multi-gen groups.
Elsa Fernicle DOSM of Sheraton and Westin Resorts Fiji focused on the recent opening of the new Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay.
Momi Bay, which opened to guests last month, is the first Marriott-branded property in Fiji, and the feedback is that they have done a stellar job! The property consists of 22 overwater bures (adults only), 114 bure villas and 136 hotel rooms with interconnecting options for families. The property has three restaurants and extensive kids programs and water sports.
A 27-hole golf course is planned for the property down the track.
Yasawa Island Resort owner, James McCann, reports a completed refurb (just last week!) with new furnishings throughout the 18 luxury bungalows and common areas of the resort. Yasawa offers a unique experience – access to the island is via light aircraft direct to the Resort’s landing strip – including relaxing in paradise on one of the many pristine beaches with a picnic and a spectacular vista of sparkling waters as far as the eye can see!.
South Sea Cruises will open Fiji’s first Beach Club Malamala Beach Club in June 2017. An island day retreat, 30 minutes from Denarau, the club is positioned as a chilled and contemporary resort for a day escape – and the perfect spot for a wedding with an onsite chapel!
News from Tourism Fiji and from Fiji’s Minister for Tourism
Mr Faiyaz Koya, Fiji’s Minister for Tourism, and Mr Matthew Stoeckel, CEO of Tourism Fiji, both spoke about Fiji’s very healthy 2016 stats and the forecast for 2017.
Despite the damage and devastation wrought by Cyclone Winston that resulted in a number of resorts closing their doors for substantial periods, Fiji achieved a targeted growth of 5% in 2016.
You have to commend the industry, and the industry body, on such an achievement in those circumstances.
Mr Stoekel outlined prospects for 2017 noting that new properties rolling out this year, coupled with a tourism industry that is really working together, augur well for Fiji reaching its targets again in 2017. He also acknowledged the great partnership with Fiji Airways. The airline has opened greatly beneficial new markets, via the new Singapore route and the new codeshare agreement with American Airlines.
In terms of growth, the Minister spoke of two key elements that the government is focused on to drive further tourism – sustainability and infrastructure – as reported exclusively by Travel Monitor in October 2016
Two projects on the immediate agenda include looking closely include at improving the all-important cruise port in Suva, and the possibility of a new airport in the North of Fiji.
Happy Hour at the end of FTE 2017 Day 1 beckons … Day 2 just around the corner!
For more Fiji news visit Tourism Fiji