Mark Rogers, Ilisapeci Matatolu, regional director of the Americas for Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau, and Susan Bejeckian, public relations consultant of the Americas for Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau.
The Fiji islands Visitors Bureau, Americas recently held a media luncheon in Marina del Rey at the California Yacht Club. California and the Pacific Midwest are Fiji’s strongest markets from North America. A lot of the conversation centered around Fiji’s new resort openings, which include the 275-room Intercontinental Resort Fiji on the Coral Coast’s Natadola Beach, slated to open in 2009. The current branding slogan “Fiji Me” was on display. “Fiji Me” was recently launched after extensive market research in Fiji’s three key markets of Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.
Managed growth seems to be a key component of Fiji’s marketing program. The recently launched Tourism Industry Master Plan covering the period 2007-2016 outlines the country’s goal of achieving 1.1 million visitors by 2016. This target is predicated upon Fiji having around 17,000 hotel rooms, a 4 percent growth rate and sufficient air capacity. The Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau is working with industry partners at the local level to ensure this growth doesn’t compromise Fiji’s ecosystems.
Ilisapeci Matatolu, regional director of the Americas for Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau, addressed the group and shared some recent news and observations from the island chain. Here are some highlights from her speech:
* Last Year Fiji hosted around 545,000 tourists; 62,000 or 13 percent were from the U.S. this figure is currently showing an 8.9 percent increase in 2008.
*Fiji's current total room inventory of around 10,000 rooms represents 34 percent of the total room inventory in the South Pacific. In the last nine years, Fiji's room inventory has grown by 51.4 percent.
Later this month, the Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau will launch a virtual destination guide on Fiji's best diving attractions on www.sportdiver.com.