With white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, pristine oceans and waterways, the Republic of Fiji is a tropical island paradise that offers discerning travellers a range of things to do and see. Numerous unspoilt beaches, with serene crystal blue and emerald lagoons, have been drawing tourists from all over the world, making tourism the mainstay of Fiji Islands. Indians particularly feel at home in this nation as the islands have a large population of people of Indian origin and is fluent in the Hindi language. Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Fiji consists of approximately 330 islands, of which only 110 are inhabited.
Island-hopping tours at Nadi and Denarau have worked wonders for the nation’s tourism. Apart from enjoying the palm-fringed idyllic views of the islands, F. these tours help one closely understand the Fijian life and culture. Nadi, with an international airport, is the gateway to Fiji. International flights, such as Qantas Airways, Air Pacific and Virgin Australia, operate from this town. The political and administrative capital of the Republic of Fiji, however, is Suva.
Located on the Western side of the near-150-km-long and over-106-km-wide island Viti Levu, Nadi is an important centre for commerce and tourism due to its proximity to Port Denarau Marina, Fiji’s premier marina facility, where cruise services operate to the Western group of Mamanuca Islands. Nadi offers a variety of accommodations. The Integrated Resort Development Project of Denarau, comprising resort hotels, private residential villas, a golf club and beaches with water sports, alone has more than 1,720 hotel rooms. Major international names like Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Wyndham Hotel Group; Hilton Worldwide; Westin Hotels & Resorts; and Radisson Hotels, are part of the resorts here.
The Mamanuca Islands are a group of islands on the Western side that have spectacular beaches and houses, and some of the best beach resorts in the world. The uninhabited Monuriki, one of the islands in the Mamanuca group, was the location for the popular Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Cast Away’. Other important islands in this group that are popular among tourists are Tokoriki, Mana, Castaway, Malolo, and Amunuca. Most of the high-end resorts in these islands are perfect destinations for those who wish to spend their holidays with their dear ones, away from the distractions of life. Most of these resorts do not have modern communication amenities such as televisions, telephones, and wi-fi. These modern equipment are considered to be distractions by the type of guests these resorts cater to.
The resorts in these islands also provide their guests the opportunity to stay close to nature by providing accommodations called `bure’, which are huts made of wood and straw, the conventional Fijian style of housing. Not only is it scenic, but also more spacious than most modern hotel suites. These units offer enough space to ensure privacy for guests. Evenings at these resorts are highly entertaining with cultural programmes, replete with songs and dances. The resorts generally serve the traditional lovo food, wrapped and cooked under native leaves and buried in the ground. The meke dances also mesmerise the guests with their high-energy, high-decibel shows. Also, there are the fire-walking shows by men belonging to the Sawau tribe at Beqa Island, which are breathtaking sights at some of the island resorts. Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa has a special gallery built for visitors to watch this daredevilry.
Fiji has a lot of potential in the Indian market as it is an exotic beach destination, with a reasonable influence of the Indian culture. The destination offers the correct blend of exclusivity, culture, value for money, and Indian food. The mainland Nadi resorts, which have renowned international chains, are most popular among Indian travellers. Indians are also beginning to explore the Mamanuca Islands that are located in proximity to the mainland. They have resorts with a reasonable large capacity, as well as small private and exclusive islands. Mamanuca Islands’ over-water bungalows at Likuliku Lagoon are popular among honeymooners.
Represented by Global Destinations, a tourism solutions provider, in the Indian market, Tourism Fiji is extremely active in India. With an aim to increase awareness about the island nation, Tourism Fiji has , launched Fiji Matai Specialist Programme in India for the travel trade. The specialist programme is undertaken on the website www.fijimatai.com, whete agents have to complete 4 modules to be qualified as a Fiji Matai Specialist. Fiji is also promoting leisure and honeymoon segments, along ° `,with MICE, in the Indian market.
Tourism Fiji organises regular road shows at major metros and Tier-II cities in India, such as Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It is also looking at promoting the destination through a dual-destination route, targeting Hong Kong-Nadi, as well as a triple-destination route, targeting Hong Kong-Macau-Nadi. In January-March last year, Tourism Fiji conducted a series of offline training programmes for agents across India, which aimed at 600-800 front office executives. The programme was an extension of its online B2B training programme, Fiji-Matai Specialist Programme. Furthermore, Tourism Fiji has been collaborating with Indian tour operators, like Mercury Travels Ltd, TUI India, Travel Oyster India Pvt Ltd and JTB Travels Pvt Ltd, in order to promote the destination.