LOS ANGELES -- With its political crisis ended and bookings slowly
increasing, Fiji launched a recovery campaign called Warm Days,
The Fiji Visitors Bureau (FVB), Air Pacific, 15 North American
wholesalers and Fiji hotels and resorts are participating.
According to the FVB, most major hotels and resorts have slashed
room rates by at least 30%, plus many are offering value-added
extras, such as free meals.
The program's central feature is a new Web site, at www.warmdayscooldeals.com, with information on new
"The deals are out there. Rooms are empty. There's no better
time to go to Fiji," said Alda Picadash, general manager of
Vancouver, Wash.-based South Pacific Holidays.
Picadash said cancellations stopped and bookings resumed after
the State Department lifted its travel advisory against Fiji on
The advisory, issued May 29 for the capital of Suva, later was
extended to the whole country, which underwent a 56-day government
hostage crisis, the arrest of the rebels and the formation of a new
Jim Bruce, who recently returned from an inspection tour of the
main island of Viti Levu, said the only tourists he saw were
Bruce, owner of Lahaina, Maui-based A Cook Islands Connection,
said, "Hotels have reduced staffs but are operating normally.
Values are great and the country is safe.
"I'm expanding with a Fiji program. You can't find rooms in the
Cook Islands," he added.
Portland, Ore.-based Sun-spots International is experiencing a
steady increase in Fiji bookings.
"Tahiti and the Cook Islands are full, and many Tahiti hotels
are booked through the year, so Fiji should do well," said Greg
Smith, president. "But fall is a big booking period and much
depends on the word getting out. Fiji is not getting the media
Ron Hunt, president of Sonoma, Calif.-based Travel Arrangements,
expressed similar views.
"Fiji is wide open, has lots of beds, lots of seats, lots of
deals, and is perfectly safe," he said.
Mike Conregan, Air Pacific's Los Angeles-based regional
director, the Americas, said, "We're starting to pick up, but it's
been tough. We didn't cancel flights but we lost 30% of our
customers during the worst of the situation."
On Oct. 1, Air Pacific will launch a twice-weekly Vancouver-Nadi
service. It has four Los Angeles-Nadi flights a week and three for
Honolulu-Nadi. Air New Zealand serves the Los Angeles-Nadi route
with three flights a week.
According to Joseph Tuamoto, FVB's Los Angeles-based regional
director, the Americas, Air New Zealand will soon join the Warm
Days, Cool Deals program.
"We're optimistic that the word of the campaign will get out,"
Island's Web site full of resort, cruise
LOS ANGELES -- A number of new wholesaler deals are featured on
Fiji's new Web site, most effective through March 31.
Many are for seven-night hotel and resort stays, with clients
either paying for only five nights or getting all meals free. Some
properties offer all meals free with five-night stays.
Wholesalers also have packaged deals with multi-resort stays.
Deals include Blue Lagoon Cruises, with a 30% discount off main
deck accommodations, and Captain Cook Cruises, with 20% off all
Package prices, with air from Los Angeles and seven-night stays,
start at $1,100.
The Web site also features information on Air Pacific's cash
rebate offer, with a cash rebate form and information on each
participating property and its deals.
For further information, agents can also call the Fiji Visitors
Bureau in Los Angeles at (800) 932-FIJI.
Wholesalers agree on Fiji's safetyFiji is safe. There never was any real danger to visitors, and
political disturbances were concentrated mainly in Suva.Fiji's loss resulted in a sold-out Tahiti and Cook Islands, a
situation that continues.Some Americans did not cancel and enjoyed Fiji vacations during
the crisis.Leisure travel from the closer and larger markets of
Australia/New Zealand stopped following sensational media coverage
in those countries.