FIJI SHOWCASES MARRIOTT INT’L
MARRIOTT says it plans to hold an annual trade event to showcase its Fiji and South Pacific offering to capitalise on increasing demand from the group and conference sector.
Last week the group held its inaugural Destination Fiji by Marriott International event at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, bringing together its five Fijibased properties, enabling conference organisers and PCOs to learn more about what each hotel offers the MICE market.
Representatives included executives from Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas, The Westin Denarau, Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island and the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay which debuted in Apr.
A number of trade partners were also present, including Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia, South Sea Cruises, Rosie Holidays, Pacific Destinations, Captain Cook Cruises and Tourism Fiji.
Collectively, Marriott Int’l currently has just over 1,000 keys in Fiji, making it the largest hotelier in the island nation.
That number will increase to about 1,200 by early 2019 with the addition of the planned Four Points by Sheraton, Lautoka, owned by the Meghji family who also own other Marriott operated hotels in Fiji.
Regional director global sales South Asia Avril Northridge said the Australian MICE market was “massive for Fiji”.
She told BEN Marriott Int’ls five big hotels in Fiji were going exceptionally well in terms of incentives, groups, conferencing and leisure and that the show gave local sellers a chance to meet face-to-face with property executives to get their questions answered in person.
Northridge said the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay was performing “phenomenally” and has proven popular for groups or around 100-150 delegates.
“We’ve got some fabulous bookings down the line, with interest very high because it’s new,” she explained.
Denarau-based properties will continue to cater for Marriott International’s larger events.
Australia remains the core inbound market for Marriott’s Fiji portfolio (about eight out of 10 queries), but the Americas market has overtaken New Zealand as the number two source, while demand is also up for China and Hong Kong.
Northridge told BEN the MICE space out of Australia was “very competitive”, with Fiji up against the likes of Thailand, Bali and Hawaii, the latter of which had “great airfares and airlift”.
Last week’s event also provided a platform for Marroitt to reiterate its commitment to Fiji, with the appointment of Leon Thomson to the newly created role of executive assistant - sales & marketing for Marriott Int’ls Fiji Complex.
Thomson said events such as Destination Fiji by Marriott Int’l will be “vital” in keeping industry and trade partners abridged on the latest news and developments in the region.
MEANWHILE, PCOs who confirm an event at Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay before 30 Nov for a minimum of 50 rooms for three consecutive nights and a minimum catering spend of FJ$40,000 will receive a free site inspection stay, 30min cocktail reception, Fijian Tribal ‘Lali’ drumming welcome and an over-water bure upgrade per 25 rooms - for enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.