Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa’s General Manager Adam Laker says reinvestment is now the way forward for tourism operators in Fiji as increased visitor numbers to the destination continues to provide stability and new opportunities.
“There’s no doubt about it – it’s a good time to be a hotel in Fiji,” Laker said at the launch of the 17th Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange (BFTE), Fiji’s premier tourism business event, on May 17. “But it’s also the right time to be a good hotel for Fiji.
“Given the increased traffic we’ve witnessed and forecast in to 2012 and beyond, it’s an ideal time for businesses, not least of all hoteliers, to re-invest and put their best face forward.
“I’m talking major projects like renovations, but also Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and investments in training to build on the progress we’ve made in regards to the luxury sector,” he said.
Laker used the BFTE opportunity to announce that the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa will undergo a renovation in 2011 which will focus primarily on its guest rooms.
“When Sofitel launched six years ago we were the first new hotel on Denarau Island in 20 years and set a new benchmark in luxury for Fiji,” he said.
“Now, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll undergo a fresh refurbishment in 2011 which will update and reaffirm our key position in Fiji’s luxury accommodation sector.”
He said the growth in visitation numbers into Fiji over the past 12 months, especially from the Australian and NZ Markets, has been very exciting.
“The unprecedented stability these figures represent for Fiji, particularly in context of the past five years, has undoubtedly been a catalyst for new growth,” Laker said.
“It’s allowed us to reach into and grow North America as a feeder market, as well as Asia – facilitated in no small way by Air Pacific’s direct Hong Kong flights.”
Under his direction, Sofitel Fiji will further complement its upcoming renovation to further embrace and inject Sofitel’s distinct brand of French elegance, inspired by its European heritage and Paris origins. Laker said the hotel would introduce luxury ‘touches’ which will range from the simple to simply sublime.
“Often it’s the little luxuries that mean the most to guests,” he said. “We’re already receiving great feedback for small but important extras we offer such as Sofitel’s chilled welcome drinks with refresher towels on arrival, our classic evening turn down with complimentary Fiji Water, and our Pure Fiji room amenities for all guests (featuring Sofitel’s tailor-made Orange Blossom scent).
Broadening its scope, Laker said the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is also working to reinvest and build on its community and environmental initiatives.
“Sofitel is a Silver certified member of Earth Check, and our environment and community are extremely important to everyone who works for the hotel,” he said. “We’ve taken the chance this year to help local schools plant more trees, and also increasingly grow our own fruit and vegetables for our ambassadors.”
The BFTE is limited to bona fide wholesalers (buyers) and tourism operators (sellers) who represent hotels, resorts, transportation, inbound operators, airlines, activities and cruises within Fiji and the South Pacific.