Increasingly, tourism roads in the Nadi area lead to Port Denarau. In May, this will be given another boost.
The 2010 Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange is taking shape with growing Port Denarau as the venue for the first time.
Port Denarau? No surprise.
Port Denarau is rapidly replacing the Nadi town-Martintar-Namaka area as a destination of choice for tourism shopping, entertainment and evening leisure.
More than a few of the holidaymakers who stay at the Denarau resorts now never venture off the island during their visit. Port Denarau is one of the reasons.
It is taking business from the Nadi town-Namaka strip.
Port Denarau has three things going for it:
– ATTRACTIONS: A growing number of leading shops, restaurants, bars and services are now there, along with local cultural entertainment.
– LOCATION: No contest. It all sits beside the marina looking out across Nadi Bay. The busy marina with its new terminal is also the gateway for cruises and boat travel to the islands off Nadi.
– AMENITIES: Good security and spotless restrooms. Anyone who’s searched for a clean public toilet in Nadi town will know what that means.
The Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange organising committee is chaired by David Voss, head of Hertz Fiji. Mr Voss is amongst today’s Fiji tourism industry key people.
He and his committee have confirmed Denarau’s Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa will be host resort. Then the exchange itself will be held just down the road at Port Denarau.
This event is expected to be boosted by recent airline developments.
Especially Air Pacific’s service to Hong Kong and its links from there with Cathay Pacific Airways. They are expected to lead to an increased presence from Europe.
The annual exchange brings together overseas sellers of holidays to Fiji and other South Pacific destinations and island tourism operators who sell their products to them.
The overseas participants package and sell Fiji and South Pacific holidays back home in their markets. The Island operators are hotels, resorts, airlines, transportation, inbound, activities and cruise operators from Fiji and the region who are looking for business.
Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange is essentially a big annual travel mart where deals are made and rates set.
The 2010 programme has now been outlined as:
Saturday 15 May-Monday 17 May: early registration and setting up of booths at the Talanoa Village, Port Denarau.
Tuesday 18 May: Last day of registration and booths to be set up by 6pm. Evening event.
Wednesday 19: 9am – Briefing and beginning of exchange. Continues till 4pm. Evening function at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa.
Thursday 20: 9am-4pm – exchange continues. Evening free for other events (local tourism operators traditionally host events for clients and potential clients on this evening).
Friday 20: 9am-4pm: Exchange continues. Evening: Final night pool/beach party at the Sofitel.
What do industry people think about the exchange? Comments from this year’s event as reported by the Ministry of Information:
David Maharaj, a buyer from Destination Travel in Los Angeles, said: “We get to know the products offered in the market. Fiji is a great place for doing business.”
David Thomas, from Swain Tours in the USA, said: “From what I have seen today, I can say that opportunities are here.”
Joe Socker, of the Dere Bay Resort in Koro, said: “The response so far has been good. The resort has just opened to the public. So we have discussions with buyers from the USA, Australia and New Zealand.”
The Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange is a totally private sector initiative. This year’s organising committee are:
- Mr Voss – Chairman
- Bill Whiting – Deputy Chairman
- Lillian Allen – Secretary
- Rakesh Lal – Treasurer
- Robert Wade – Committee
- Michael Nacola – Committee
- Alan Roman – Committee
- Nathan Telfer – Host Resort
Their decision to use and promote Port Denarau as the venue will be watched with interest, not least by some of the businesses back in Nadi town.