Travel Agent was on the scene when Tourism Fiji hosted a media luncheon at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica. Josefa (Jo) Tuamoto, CEO, Tourism Fiji clued us in on the name change from Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau to Tourism Fiji, tagging the word “Bureau” as sounding too bureaucratic. Tuamoto also noted that Fiji has a population of 7,000 and that last year it received 6,000 visitors.
“Our goal this year is to raise that figure to one visitor for each local,” said Tuamoto. As far as the economic downturn goes, Tuamoto said, “We’ve been through several coups and hurricanes – our philosophy is to hold our own and we’ll get through.”
Tuamoto also cited Sheraton Fiji Resort’s $22 million renovation, and the 275-room Intercontinental Resort Fiji, due to open later this year, as signs of Fiji’s strength going forward.
As the event wound down, Travel Agent caught up with Candy Andrus, regional general manager, The Americas, Air Pacific. Andrus reminded us that Air Pacific currently flies five services to Fiji a week out of Los Angeles, but will most likely up that figure to six flights this summer. Andrus said loads were good for January and February but March through May was causing her some concern, although she added that the trend is last-minute bookings, even for honeymooners. She also advised agents to stay tuned for some attractive offers from Air Pacific.
See more of the event in the slide show below: