Fiji’s growth as a yacht cruising destination has received a boost after Port Denarau Marina won the category of “International Marina of the Year” at the MIA Awards Dinner on the Gold Coast last Tuesday evening.
The awards were part of the Marine15 International Conference and Trade Exhibition which was held on the Gold Coast from the 3rd to the 5th of May 2015.
The MIA (Marina Industries Association) is the peak industry body for the marina industries in Australia, Asia and the Pacific regions and is dedicated to the needs of marina owners and operators of berthing, mooring, storage and slipway/workshop facilities connected to sailing, cruising and general boating.
The competition for the MIA Awards was the strongest ever and a record number of entries had been received internationally. Port Denarau Marina headed out the other finalists in this category of Port Montenegro in Europe, Albany Marina in the Bahamas and Westhaven Marina in Auckland, NZ.
Port Denarau Marina’s Managing Director, Mr Nigel Skeggs says, “This is an incredible achievement both for our team and Fiji as a destination. We have strived to develop a product that contributes to the variety of offerings in Fiji’s tourism market while driving the financial and social contribution to the outer islands of Fiji by attracting these tourists to our shores. In developing a marina we have been very isolated and to receive this recognition from our peers is incredibly satisfying and a recognition that not only are we doing it right but we are a leading marina globally. It does not get any better than this and I am very proud of our success.
I would like to thank our board for their support and vision and for our great team for bringing it to fruition. This is an award that all of Fiji can be proud of and firmly cements our nation as a yachting tourism destination.”
“As I have told my team, we are allowing ourselves some time to enjoy and celebrate our success but more than ever we must continue developing and ensuring that we offer the level of service expected from an international award winning marina. The pressure is on but we like, and will embrace this, as we look to the future.”
According to the Annual Fijian International Yachting Visitors Survey, which is conducted each year by Port Denarau Marina as an aid to market Fiji as a destination for this valuable segment of the tourism sector, there has been a sharp increase in numbers, with the total value of yachting tourism to the Fijian economy for 2014 sitting at over $39.5m.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Honourable Faiyaz Koya said the recognition fitted in with the government vision of developing a tourism sector based on quality of service.
“Fiji is just not another tourism destination, but a destination that provides that additional personal touch, a destination where people really care and a destination that leaves a lasting impression on its visitors,” Mr Koya said.
He said the yachting industry’s contribution to the tourism sector was growing every year and the Government was working with the industry to provide the necessary support to ensure that this growth was maintained.
“Fiji is the hub of the Pacific and the ideal destination or stopover for yachts, including superyachts, hence it is important that necessary infrastructure is in place to maximise the returns from this industry.”
As the premier marina facility in Fiji, Port Denarau continues to raise its standards internationally, as well as add to its list new and exciting products.
The latest addition to Port Denarau Marina is going to be a new Denarau Yacht Club, restaurant and bar, the only private function facility that is not connected to a resort.
This product is set to be launched next week and will be open to the public on Monday the 18th of May. The Rhum-Ba will set a new standard for the dining experience in Fiji.