EXCLUSIVE BY JAMES WILKINSON IN NADI, FIJI
The Fijian Prime Minister, Commodore Josaia Voreque ‘Frank’ Bainimarama, has officially launched Wyndham’s FJD$49 million expansion of the company’s WorldMark Resort on Denarau Island, saying the development is significant for tourism growth in the country.
Bainimarama, who turned the soil to commence construction of over 60 new rooms on the beachfront site on Denarau Island this morning (Nov 4), said developments such as Wyndham’s expansion were important for the growth of Fijian tourism, which now accounts for 34% of the country’s GDP.
“My government recognises the importance of the tourism industry for the sustained economic growth of Fiji and its ability to create a sustained livelihood,” he said.
“The ground breaking ceremony for stage three development of this Wyndham property is an indication of the growth and our confidence in the tourism industry.”
Bainimarama said when the FJD$49 million development was completed, the property would offer “improved services, increased room inventory and give the entire property a facelift”.
The extensive renovation of Wyndham’s popular Fijian property, which attracts 36,000 guests annually, includes the construction of 63 new spacious rooms, ranging from one- and two-bedrooms deluxe apartments to presidential villas featuring plunge pools overlooking the beach.
“This will provide another boost to the (tourism) industry as a whole,” Bainimarama said.
Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Managing Director Barry Robinson said developing stage three of the property was significant for both the WorldMark Resort and the company as a whole.
“This is the largest project under construction in Fiji (and) our commitment to providing first-class accommodations and facilities to WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham owners and guests is reflected in this significant redevelopment of this property, which was purchased in 1998 and the first in our portfolio that now encompasses 23 resorts throughout the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
Robinson said the new rooms are based on the design concepts of Australian architects Guymer Bailey, while the design, construction, architecture and fit-out was undertaken by Fijian company Architects Pacific under the direction of Fijian construction company Pacific Building Solutions (PBS).
“We are pleased to partner with Fijian construction company PBS on the project to expand WorldMark Resort Denarau Island,” he said. “PBS was chosen because of their excellent track record building high-quality resorts in the South Pacific.”
The original WorldMark Resort was constructed in the late 1990s and while the rooms have been upgraded since then, the new wing, due to be finished in mid-2013, see the resort, will help set a new benchmark for Wyndham properties across the Asia-Pacific region.
Alongside the new wing, a number of changes will also be made to the existing property, including a new pool with a swim up bar, a new poolside café, a new reception and lobby and the construction of a new restaurant.
Robinson said given the resort’s popularity, the decision to expand on the site was a logical one.
“This property has been one of our most popular resorts in our portfolio,” he said. “Our owners and guests absolutely love the resort, the tropical location and the welcoming Fijian hospitality they receive while they’re staying there.
“With the new development, I anticipate WorldMark Resort Denarau Island to become our jewel in the crown.”
For more on the launch of stage three at the WorldMark Resort Denarau Island and to hear more from Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, don’t miss next Wednesday’s HM Headline News e-newsletter featuring EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS.