Three years after forming the Fiji Convention Bureau in 2015, Tourism Fiji is now looking to establish a second events team that will bring greater power to its pursuit of international business events.
Speaking to TTGmice, Kathy Koyamaibole, regional manager Asia with Tourism Fiji, said: “The Bureau has been winning mostly government meetings and events. But with the expanded events team, we will be better able to go after international ones. In fact, my role reflects the focus we have on Asian markets, where we see strong potential for both business events and leisure travel.”
Koyamaibole shared that China takes the lead in Asian business events bound for Fiji, with “significant interest coming out of Singapore”.
“That explains Tourism Fiji’s current investment in destination promotion in Singapore and the appointment of Aviareps as our destination representative in the market,” she added.
When asked about the challenges Fiji faces in destination promotion towards Asian business event planners, Koyamaibole pointed to the misconception that Fiji was “primitive”.
“But when planners get a chance to visit Fiji, they are always blown away by what we have to offer. We have so many international hotel brands, such as Sofitel, Raddison, Hilton and InterContinental, all of which have conference facilities. We also have unique attractions that are a great match to our international-standard hardware, some of which can add a Corporate Social Responsibility angle to the programme,” she said, adding that even more international branded hotels will be opening soon, including a Pullman and a Crowne Plaza.
She also underlined Fiji’s accessibility from various Asian markets. “Fiji enjoys direct flights from Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, and it is easy for Asian event groups to connect in Australia for onward flights to Fiji,” she explained.
Koyamaibole is unable to say at press time if the expanded convention bureau will come with additional funding from Tourism Fiji in the new year.