2023 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards | And the winners take it all

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Fiji Gas chief executive officer Hans Reiher (left) presented with the Environmental Sustainability Award to Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort during the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards at the Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

A night of fun, glamour, acknowledgement, appreciation and success! Such was the epitome of the successful culmination of the 2023 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards celebration.

The Denarau Island Convention Centre played host to 700 tourism stakeholders who converged for the annual affair that acknowledged their collective efforts and unwavering dedication that have propelled Fiji’s tourism to where it is today.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka said this year’s theme “Celebrating Tourism Success,” reflected the triumphs, achievements and advancements of the industry and resonated deeply with stakeholders’ dedication to achieving greater tourism success.

“Your success is our success… I shared this before and I will say it again,” Mr Gavoka said.

“When the tourism industry does well, so does the economy and other sectors.

“And when the economy prospers, so do the lives and livelihoods of our people and communities.”

On the night of celebration, Mr Gavoka informed operators and stakeholders that when visitors spend money on hotels, meals, souvenirs and attractions, it stimulates demand in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and construction.

He said such vital movement allowed local businesses to flourish, infrastructure improves, and communities prosper.

The deputy PM also paid tribute to two tourism icons whose contributions have left a lasting impact on the growth of the local hospitality industry.

They were pioneer and visionary leader, the founder of the Tanoa Group and a recipient of the lifetime achievement in excellence award Yanktesh Permal Reddy,known commonly as Y.P. Reddy., and Elenoa Nimacere, former Vinaka Fiji manager who was instrumental in the development of the Yasawa group.

“In 2020, we recorded our sharpest ever economic contraction of 17.0 percent followed by a further decline of 4.9 percent in 2021.

“All of you in this room, went above and beyond in our recovery and in 2023, we estimate an 8.2 per cent growth – meaning our recovery is complete as the economy returns above 2019 levels of GDP by the end of this year.

“We also received a record number of visitors – surpassing 2019 figures by 4 percent – a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication of our tourism professionals.”

Significant milestones, the deputy PM said, has been achieved in the industry’s journey to achieve sustainability and equity within the tourism sector.

He said that the culmination of such efforts will be realized with the launch of the Fiji Sustainable Tourism Framework by April.

“This will serve as a guiding beacon for our sustainability endeavors, ensuring that our tourism practices are not only environmentally responsible but also culturally sensitive and socially equitable.

“It is my hope that this policy framework will guide us over the next decade with concrete action items.

“One of these will be to streamline and strengthen the tourism regulatory environment and introduce standards, to uplift the industry.”

Mr Gavoka has also commended the commitment of funds from Rosie Holidays and Ahura Resorts towards the National Cleanup Campaign Fund.

He said he was pleased to see the resolution of the 2023 Fiji Tourism Convention quickly turn into concrete action this year.

He also commended and congratulated the Hall of Fame winners, whose exceptional contributions to our industry are truly commendable.

He shared the introduction of the Hall of Fame shield for resorts and hotels winning three consecutive times is a testament to their excellence.

“Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the 2023 Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards.

“Your unwavering commitment to excellence and unpa

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