Lunch & Learn Recap: Fiji Tourism

Lunch & Learn Recap: Fiji Tourism

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Every two weeks, the Family Travel Association is hosting a virtual Lunch & Learn, just a half hour on Wednesdays to learn from suppliers, panel discussions and industry experts.

Being an FTA member, you can not just attend these webinars, but also access the recordings at any time through the member portal. Topics so far have covered Burn Out, 2023 Booking Trends, Visit Finland and more.

To give you an idea of what you can learn from these sessions, let’s take a quick look back on the truly excellent Fiji Tourism presentation by Ruth Daly, who made the time fly by with nonstop fun facts, stories and useful information. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Fiji has 333 islands, but only about 110 are inhabited. The two major islands are Viti Levu (which is the same size as the big island of Hawaii) and Vanua Levi (which is a similar size and topography as Maui).
  • Not all Americans see Fiji as a family destination, but Australian and Kiwi families have been coming for decades.
  • Fiji is closer than you think, but especially from the west coast. It’s in the heart of the South Pacific, a 10 hour flight from San Fran or LA.
  • You’re flying on Fiji Airways, which has a brand new fleet of all A350 aircraft, into Nadi Airport, pronounced “NAN-di.”
  • Daly said Fiji is a great place to go when people are just feel like they’re not getting the same value from Hawaii anymore. While the flight is a few hours longer, Daly joked, “In Fiji, we call Hawaii halfway to paradise.”
  • There are no longer any entry requirements related to the pandemic for Fiji.
  • The Fijian culture is built on family, community and hospitality. It’s a ubiquitous culture. “You arrive as a visitor, but you’re going to leave as a family member.”
  • Pope John Paul visited and said, “This is how the world was meant to be.”
  • The big word there is “bula,” which means hello, as well as “health” and “good luck.” Everyone grants each other a friendly bula when greeting each other or even just passing by.
  • While the British did visit Fiji and bring in certain influences, such as curry, they didn’t colonize Fiji because they were such fierce warriors, according to Daly. That means there are lots of traditional villages still, built around family and community, and you can visit them.
  • All resorts employ locals, and they’re extremely family friendly. There’s a saying, “In Fiji, a child’s feet never touch the ground.” All family friendly resorts have programs of kids clubs, nannies and bula buddies.
  • These nannies can take the babies/children for a full day of fun, whether you want to be involved or go off and scuba dive. They’ll go out and get active on the beaches and elsewhere outside, and these nannies are so trusted, there’s never, ever a worry about safety.
  • It’s an amazing place for aquatic activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, cave pools, whitewater rafting, and jetboats to go inland. Children as young as 10 can be PADI certified. FTA President Ken Shapiro and his daughter got certified about five years ago.
  • At the end of the Lunch & Learn, Daly went over many different resorts across the islands and what they have to offer. Smaller resorts, larger resorts, resorts that take up a whole island, luxury resorts, the list goes on, and the discussion was broken down in a perfect way to highlight each spot’s specialties.
  • Finally, the presentation wrapped up with little tips, like the fact Fiji Airways offers special travel agent appreciation fares, if you’d like to fly out and experience all this for yourself.

If you’d like more information, you can view this Lunch & Learn’s recording through the FTA member portal.


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