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Fiji Moves ForwardFebruary 19, 2007 By: Camie Foster Travel Agent
Plans in motion to spur 2007 travel
Travel agents and consumers can expect to see
to build visitation from the
will continue to focus its resources in the
on markets with promise, says Ili Matatolu, who was posted to
the bureau. Effects thus far in the
political situation have been very minimal, Matatolu notes. "Having said
that, we have a lot of work to do to make sure new bookings as well as future
this means a focus on the
market, and selective work in the East Coast and other markets. Retailers can
expect to benefit from continued outreach by the bureau. "We need to make
sure generation of leads is developed a lot further," Matatolu says.
"We want to make sure our program is relevant to agents' needs, both
home-based and frontline."
The bureau's Matai destination-specialist program for
retailers is continuing, and agents can look forward to a revised, revamped web
site by the end of the month. Matatolu is a veteran with the bureau, with
previous postings in both
She shared targets and outlooks in a wide-ranging conversation with Travel
This year, the bureau is seeking to grow spending by
million last year—$60 million and $50 million
to the country's tourism efforts is the Tourism Action Group, which was
reactivated by Viliame (Bill) Gavoka, chief executive of the bureau. The
group's goals include restoring confidence in the tourism industry and in
destination, starting recovery efforts, increasing arrivals and speaking in a
Marketing is proceeding in three phases, Matatolu explains.
The first concentrated on
top two inbound markets,
both were strongly affected. The second phase adds such long-haul markets as
And the third phase, which is anticipated by the arrival of June and peak
travel season, is a return to as normal a year as possible. The government has
budgeted an additional F$3.6 million.
Among the programs on tap is the Fiji Islands Visitors
Bureau's new "Fiji Me" global marketing campaign launching in
to consumers with free DVDs for retailers.
Also helping build the buzz is the debut earlier this month
the reality-TV show spent three months in
season. Also hitting the marketplace is a slate of "Fiji Better Than
Ever" packages and promotions developed by a number of the country's
Other news of interest to agents include the start in April
of a codeshare pact between Air Pacific and Air New Zealand and an ongoing
increase in lodging that will raise inventory past the 8,300 rooms available in
2006 to more than 10,200 that will be available by the end of this year. Agent
liaison is Jese Naka, regional coordinator of the Fiji Matai Specialist
Program. Contact him at 310-568-1616 or [email protected]. Visit www.fijime.com.