CAPTION: Organisers and sponsors of the AON Excellence in Tourism Awards pose for a group photo at the Tourism Fiji boardroom during the launch of the 17th awards today. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

The Trustees and Organising Committee of the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards are pleased to today announce the launch of the 17th AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards Season.

The Award could not happen without the support of our generous sponsors to whom we would like to extend our sincere thanks; AON Risk is again on Board as the Platinum Sponsor, and Gold Sponsor Fiji Airways is joined for the 2013 season by ANZ (previously Silver). Our Silver Sponsor AFL continues to be long term supporter of the Awards, as does Bronze Sponsor Crest Chicken. We again welcome our Awards night Event Sponsors; premier Event Sponsor Tappoos who will be expanding their sponsored selection of premium international beverages, Fiji Water, Pure Fiji, Five Star Foods and our Media Partner, the Fiji Sun.

AON (Fiji) Limited associate director Vinod Patel, right, hands over the sponsorship cheque of $25K to chairman of the board of trustees of the AON Excellence in Tourism Awards Mr Gerald Barrack. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

AON (Fiji) Limited Associate Director Vinod Patel, right, hands over the sponsorship cheque of $25K to chairman of the board of trustees of the AON Excellence in Tourism Awards Mr Gerald Barrack. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

New in 2013 is the partnering of the Awards with popular FBC program “Jukeworld”. Jukeworld will be hosted from previous years’ winners location for the next few months to bring the best of Fiji’s wonderful tourism products into the lives of those Fijians outside of the industry, who may not get a chance to personally experience these special experiences.

With the opening of the AON Fiji Excellence in Awards to the public nominations for the first time, 2012 saw a record number of applications and many first-time entrants. With inclusivity being a key focus, 16 Awards were presented, including the introduction of the “Accommodation Unique” category and additional presentations in the “Restaurants and Dining” and “Marketing” Categories. The Trustees again elected to present Visionary and Lifetime Achievements Awards; in 2012 to Mr. Tony Whitton and Mr. and Mrs. David and Lorraine Evans respectively.

In 2013, categories and criteria have been extensively reviewed, and the burgeoning Spa and Wellness sector, and the crucial role of transportation providers has been recognized. With the large volume of entrants into the ever-popular “Frontliner” individual category, a new “Back-of-House” category has been included for those that provide excellent personal service but not necessarily in a traditional “meet and greet” role. All entrants will be judged on their performance in their own particular niche market, recognizing product types may vary within a particular category.

Destinational marketing has been increasingly included into standard core marketing activities of many operators and as such, this category is not being continued in 2013, however a new category “Services and Support to Industry” is being introduced for those operators that don’t necessarily fall into the traditional sectors of tourism.

Following are the 2013 Awards Categories open for nomination:

1. Frontliner of the Year

2. Back of House – Individual

3. Transport Facilitators

4. Spa & Wellness

5. Services & Support to Industry

6. Fiji Experience

7. Tourism Sustainability

8. Restaurants

9. Accommodation Budget

10. Accommodation Quality

11. Accommodation Deluxe

12. Accommodation Luxury

13. Accommodation Unique

Nominations close on Friday 6th of September 2013, at which time application forms will be issued to nominees. Submission of applications closes on Friday 25th of October 2013.

For those wishing to participate in the Awards for the first time in 2013, the Trustees and Organising Committee recommend they take guidance from previous winners and review these individuals and products, and the superior standards of service they offer; all 2012 winners demonstrated excellent business and environmental sustainability initiatives, and a strong use of local products and services.

Participating in the Awards process not only gives an applicant media exposure and industry recognition, but many new applicants have found that in addressing the stringent criteria in the application form, this process has led to a better appreciation of their own business practices, identification of new areas of opportunity and untapped potential areas for growth.

Judging will again be done by an independent panel of judges, all of whom will have a tourism background and who are experts in the various criteria of the application forms. Judges are unable to have a personal vested interest in any of the applicants, are not remunerated and are appointed by the Private Trustees of the Fiji Excellence Tourism Awards (also a non-remunerated position).

In 2013, the Trustees welcome to the Board Mr. Rick Hamilton as CEO of Tourism Fiji. The Awards have enjoyed the support of Tourism Fiji for many years – Tourism Fiji acts as a distribution and collection point for nomination forms and applications, delivers Awards information to the wider industry and assists with any enquiries from the industry, general public and visiting guests about the Awards process.

The AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards looks forward to a successful 2013 Awards season, with the winners to be announced at a gala dinner on Friday the 21st of February 2014.



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