By SHALENDRA PRASAD
Denarau was a hive of activity on Friday night as the 16th AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards recognized individuals and operators who did exceptionally well in their respective fields last year.
While addressing guests and participants, tourism minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said government is fully committed towards the tourism industry and this could be seen with the introduction of new strategies such as the rebranding of Tourism Fiji with a new logo and slogan ‘Where happiness finds you’, a new website with numerous additional features and unprecedented infrastructure development.
“The Bainimarama government has committed $23.5 million for tourism marketing for the past four-years in a row and this has never been done before in the history of Fiji,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said while all the development work is important, what sets Fiji apart from others is the warmth of the Fijian people.
“We can have the best airports, roads and properties, but if we do not invest in our people, all this will be of no significance.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has urged operators to invest in human resources as government is also doing its part by setting aside millions of dollars in training via the Fiji National University.
Meanwhile, a total of 15 awards were given out during the function at Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa as follows:-
• Fijian Host of the year – Joe Gray, Customer Services Manager, Airports Fiji Limited
• Front liner – Eroni Bole, Rosie Holidays
• Tourism Sustainability – Kula Eco Park
• Incentive Events – Rosie Holidays
• Fiji Experience – Koro Sun Resort – Raintree Spa
• Restaurants & Dining (Quality & Value) – Antoinette’s, Nadi Bay Resort Hotel
• Restaurants & Dining (Fine Dining) – Ivi, Outrigger on the Lagoon
• Accommodation Budget – Manta Ray Resort
• Accommodation Quality – Malolo Island Resort
• Accommodation Deluxe – Outrigger on the Lagoon
• Accommodation Unique – Royal Davui
• Accommodation Luxury – Likuliku
• Marketing – Rosie Holidays
• Marketing (Special Commendation) – Lance Seeto
• Lifetime Achievers – Lorraine & Dave Evans
• Visionary – Tony Whitton
For Prime Minister Bainimarama’s full speech, click here:- http://thejetnewspaper.com/2013/02/23/pms-speech-at-the-aon-fiji-excellence-in-tourism-awards-night-feb-22/
For more pictures, click here:-