2023 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards | A great achievement for Vilitati

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Talanoa Treks pioneer tour guide Vilitati Rokovesa won the Cultural Tourism Champion Award during the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards at the Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Growing up in the Navosa highlands has its own wonders.

For Vilitati Rokovesa, he always believes that his village in Nubutautau offers scenic and unique sights which tourists can always enjoy during their visit to Fiji.

It wasn’t until he met directors and founders of Fiji’s only dedicated hiking company Talanoa Treks that he knew his dream had come to fruition.

From exploring possible trails to guiding and sharing rich Fijian history, Mr Rokovesa soared high when he was announced winner of the Cultural Tourism Champion category at the recent 2023 Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards gala dinner.

Cheers of acknowledgment erupted at the Denarau Island Convention Centre when the Talanoa Treks veteran tour guide was declared winner of the night.

Mr Rokovesa is originally from Nubutautau, one of the most remote villages in the Navosa/Ba highlands and has played a pivotal role in ensuring guests not only enjoy the highland sceneries but also learn a thing or two about the village and its history for a few decades now.

His determination to provide guests the best experience was finally acknowledged when his name was announced during the annual awards.

“This is a great moment for me and my Talanoa Treks family,” Mr Rokovesa said.

“I also dedicate it to all the villagers in Navosa, Nadarivatu and Ra we work closely with to keep the business running, this is for all of us.

“I didn’t expect to win tonight, first time too to receive such an award and for that I’m grateful.”

The professional guide believes international visitors deserve to be told the values of tradition and his work mainly revolved round ensuring this was initiated when guests trekked the mountainous terrain on the highlands of Viti Levu.

For him personally being a cultural champion means more than just being a tour guide, it is also about telling the world that Fiji, while being a great tourist destination is also a country that is proud of its rich cultural tradition and history.

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