Fiji, Friday 8 February 2013: Destination Fiji will take centre stage this weekend with one of the world’s most prestigious brands Sofitel Luxury Hotels selecting its flagship resort on DenarauIsland to host its biannual Australian Advisory Committee meeting of professional conference planners (PCOs).
Vice President for Sofitel in the Pacific Ian Alexandre – who is accompanying the PCO visit from Australia along with Sofitel’s new Regional Sales & Marketing Director Andrew Hartley – says the trip has been carefully timed to maximise on recent strong bookings and interest recorded for Fiji in the last quarter of 2012.
“January reports reveal that Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa’s enjoyed one of its strongest business events quarter’s seasons in the latter part of 2012 with a recorded 19.7 percent increase in bookings and enquiries on previous years,” says Mr Alexandre.
“Our aim is to sustain and maximise that interest, and we are forecasting even bigger numbers for 2013 by widening our net and introducing some of Australia’s most influential events executives to Fiji and all that the destination has to offer.”
Mr Alexandre says the advisory committee’s Fiji visit aims to drive innovation and growth in the hotel and tourism industries.
“In addition to introducing ‘brand Fiji’ to these visitors, the objective is to also seek feedback and listen closely to the industry’s events experts for fresh insight as to how luxury brands like Sofitel can best position themselves to help persuade most affluent business events guests to spend their corporate dollar in Fiji,” he says.
“In recent years the bleak global economic outlook created a disorderly and unpredictable scramble for business, however we’re noticing a new positive pattern and there is now a more optimistic approach to business events and incentives.
“So while Fiji’s traditional holiday target market from Australia remains important, we are now more than ever aggressively targeting the meetings, incentives and conference sector (MICE) with the expectation of increasing on our already solid results last year.”
Sofitel instituted the advisory committee several years ago as part of its growth strategy for business events across its hotels in Australia, the Pacific and beyond, providing a forum for major industry players to offer advice on how hoteliers and marketers can keep current on opportunities, trends and challenges.
“It is a great way to generate new ideas through personal experiences and active involvement. While investment and expenditure on various hospitality projects is important to remain competitive, equally important are personal professional experiences to generate new ideas through active involvement. So visits like this are truly a key factor in creating exciting business opportunities for 2013.”
Host to thousands events since its launch in 2006, the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island is a proven performer on the Fiji conferencing scene with an extraordinary capacity to deliver inspiring events.
When launched it was the first new hotel on Denarau in 20 years, and since then Sofitel has paved the way for a new generation of business and MICE focused, helping to reposition Fiji as a serious contender on the C&I scene. Indeed, Sofitel has set a serious luxury tone that has paved the way deluxe events – from smaller intimate incentives through to sophisticated, world-class conferences.
The resort provides Fiji’s largest conference facilities with eight meeting rooms and a ballroom that seats up to 794 delegates (or 640 for a sit-down dinner), plus an endless choice of garden and beachside locations to make the most of Fiji’s warm climate and sensational views.
In order to offer a true insight into what Fiji has to offer incentives clients, Sofitel and its partners has designed an indulgent two-day experience to reveal a ‘slice of conferencing life’ for its PCO guests as part of this exercise.
In addition to regular famil features such as formal site inspections and briefings, food and beverage is an important part of the program given the destinations ‘coming of age’ in this area over recent years.
It is only the second time the Sofitel Advisory Committee has met outside Australia, with the only other overseas visit by the group to the SofitelAucklandViaductHarbour in New Zealand. For reservations and information on the resort visit www.sofitel.com