By CHARLES CHAMBERS
Althia Tours have taken another giant leap in their business – having the only female driver as a chaffeur for visitors.
Keasi Qailigana Leweniqila is loving every minute of this and is proud to be part of the tour operators who provide comfort and safe driving for tourists.
The 26 year old lass from Drekeniwai Village on Vanua Levu, is modest in being the only female driver for any tour operators.
Having driven now for eight years without any blemish to her record, Keasi said she did not regret the minute she took up the offer from Althia Tours.
Being the second youngest in family of nine Keasi learnt to start working hard after her parents passed away.
She spent her early years, after attaining her license at 18 years, driving the family vehicle taking them around.
In 2014 she joined Digicel and during this time gained a certificate in Chinese language after taking up the course.
She wanted to further studies in mastering the Chinese language but this was cut short after a friend fixed a job for her in a company that dealt with looking after Chinese travel agents.
Keasi met John Aitcheson, Althia tours managing director and joined the company a few weeks ago.
“I decided to take offer and I am loving this job and have also learnt a lot from John and his wife Fulori,” Keasi said.
“Tourists were surprised to see me driving while staff at different resorts and hotels were equally surprised,” she said.
Mr Aitcheson said it was an advantage to the tourist industry and a boost to women while in the same text it augered for women’s rights.
“Women are now doing what men could do,” he said.
Mr Aitcheson said women in the industry were mainly seen as working in hotels and resorts and offices but now his company has paved the way for women in tour driving.
“It brings in a new scenario as far as tour operators go and sees a new era for women in the tourism industry,” he said.
“Its a big boost for my company in that tourists see that we also employ women as tour drivers,” he said.
“Everything is possible for women and Keasi is a shining example of this,” Mr Aitcheson said.