The President of the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has officially reopened Treasure Island Resort, the event marking the one year anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Evan’s devastating landfall in Fiji on 17 December 2012.
Addressing dignitaries, including Tui Vuda Ratu Kitione Tavaiqia, the head of the Tokatoka Nakelo of the Vanua of Vuda and resort guests, the President praised the resort’s traditional owners, staff and management for their efforts in getting the iconic holiday island back into full operation after extensive damage forced complete closure last year.
The President said the actions of everyone involved represented a fine example of what the Fijians proudly call “the Bula Spirit”.
“It is almost impossible to imagine that just 12 months ago, the damage was so extensive it forced Treasure Island Resort to completely shut down operations and begin the lengthy task of rebuilding,” he said.
Quoting Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in a national address last year, the President said devastating events such as TC Evan should not be treated as defeats but rather as setbacks to Fiji’s normal day to day life.
“And that is exactly what we are seeing here today. The traditional owners, staff and management of Treasure Island are to be congratulated for the action they have taken, and will always take, towards putting their lives, and for that matter their livelihoods, back on track,” he said.
“Fiji’s tourism industry is our greatest source of foreign exchange and the largest provider of jobs for thousands of our people. The benefits this nation accrues directly and indirectly from our hospitality industry affect every man, woman and child in this country.
“From a micro perspective, Treasure Island Resort has played a key role in assisting the Fiji government in achieving its objectives for more than 40 years.
“The traditional owners, staff and management of this iconic resort, both past and present, are to be commended for their invaluable contribution to Fiji’s tourism and for the role they have played, and will continue to play, in helping the government achieve its objectives.
“And in doing so, ensuring this vital sector continues to remain a pillar of our economic strength to the benefit of all Fijians in the years ahead,” he said.
Treasure Island and Bounty Island Resorts Group General Manager, Scott Walton said it was indeed an honour to have the President of Fiji officially reopen the resort.
“Treasure Island has never looked as good and we are already back into the full swing of things having welcomed our first guests on 01 December,” Walton said.
“Yes, there have been a few cosmetic changes but as our guests are finding for themselves – both first-timers and our wonderful returnees – some things never change.
”And the warmth of our welcome, the levels of service and the tranquility our guests always find when visiting this piece of paradise remain the very hallmark of a Treasure Island experience.”