Meeting Newz September / October 2021

[ PAC I F I C UPDATE Tourism Fiji’s regional director NZ, Sonya Lawson, says that when domestic tourism re-starts on 4 October, based on the current vaccination uptake it is projected that nearly 80% of the eligible population is expected to be fully vaccinated and at the time of going to press more than 95% had had at least their first dose (alternatively, over 64% are already fully vaccinated). “The tourism industry has been instrumental in helping with the vaccine roll out as well as being committed to having their own staff fully vaccinated.” Lawson says that hotels and other suppliers will benefit from having local tourism back and this will put the industry in good stead to welcome back international visitors. “In fact, for a significant period since March 2020, the sector has been operating and they have also used the time to refresh, refurbish and even add to their product.” Business events focus Lawson says that as the country has been preparing for the return of overseas tourism, business events has been one of the areas focused on by Tourism Fiji. “Our aim is to bring more international conventions and incentive business to Fiji. Details are still being worked through, but we are adopting a modest business events framework which is due to be launched in 2022. Tourism Fiji will play a key supportive role for our Fijian operators as BUS INESS EVENTS KEY FOCUS AS F I J I EYESS REOPENING well as facilitate the needs of conference and incentive organisers. “For the first time, we will have a dedicated website and a business events brand to position Fiji distinctly in this segment. Underpinning this will be a message of ‘giving back’ with an emphasis on cultural and environmental experiences.” Underlining the whole visitor experience in the new environment will be the Care Fiji Commitment – which includes the 100% vaccinated guarantee in resorts and other tourism settings. The Pacific nation has also declared that only fully vaccinated travellers will be able to visit Fiji. Hotel update The Sheraton Fiji Resort has refreshed and renovated its guest rooms and revitalised the lobby space. The resort has three new dining experiences designed by CHADA; Tatavi Grill & Bar Restaurant, Island 619 and 28g (Grams). Additionally, the meeting spaces have been given a new look. Sofitel Fiji has completed full renovations earlier than originally planned and has also created several additions. The latter include Waitui Bar & Grill, an adults-only exclusive poolside fine-dining experience and a teenage zone featuring arcade games. As part of the refurbishment, the resort is also retiling the main family pool and adding a water cannon and jets to it. Raddison Blu Resort has installed a new fully equipped gym and rebranded their main restaurant – Byblos ‘A Taste of Lebanon’. The resort also has a reconstructed seawall, new lawns, upgraded walkways and corridors around the resort, and a refurbished bridge between the children’s and family pool. Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay has launched the Momi Bay Sunset Series, a concept that takes inspiration from popular beach clubs and holiday destinations around the world. VOMO Island Fiji has two new private residences; a four-bedroom Talei Taki and a five-bedroom Reef House. These two luxury beachfront homes bring VOMO’s inventory up to 28 resort villas and six private residences. A water bottling plant, enables VOMO to eradicate single use plastic bottles as it will now be able to produce enough still and sparking water daily for all guests, in glass bottles. Sheraton Fiji Nadi As Fiji prepares to reopen for domestic tourism and continues its ‘sprint to December’ to have the eligible population fully vaccinated, meetings and incentive planners can be confident the destination and plant will be ready for international travellers in 2022. [20] meeting newz [sept oct] 2021