The annual ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards were held recently, celebrating those who have made exceptional contributions to Fiji’s tourism industry.
This year saw the introduction of a Hall of Fame award, which was presented to Likuliku Lagoon Resort as the first-ever inductee. Fijian-owned Likuliku has already celebrated six wins in the Luxury Accommodation category of the annual Excellence in Tourism Awards.
There were more than 500 people from the Fiji travel industry at the awards, including major hotels, airlines, tour operators and tourism service providers.
The ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards (FETA) has for the first time honoured not one but three individuals with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the 21st ANZ FETA at the Denarau Convention Centre tonight.
Captain Matereti Tuisue, Jenny Seeto and Patrick Wong have been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award while the late Tui Lawa Ratu Sevanaia Vatunitu was also remembered and honoured with the Visionary Award.
Prime Minister and Chief Guest Voreqe Bainimarama presented the Lifetime Achievement Awards to the three recipients on the night the tourism industry came together to celebrate their achievements and excellence.
“This year we are not giving a Lifetime Achievement Award. We are giving three Lifetime Achievement Awards! They are for three special individuals Captain Tuisue, Jenny Seeto and Patrick Wong. All of whom have made significant contributions towards not only the tourism industry but the country as a whole,” Chair of the Board of Trustees Bill Whiting said.
“We also remember the late Tui Lawa Ratu Sevanaia Vatunitu for his contributions to the tourism industry. Ratu Sevanaia is dearly missed and we honour him with the Visionary Award. An open minded chief who in 2013 declared hoteliers and tourists in Malolo as the sixth Yavusa of Lawa.”
The first ever Hall of Fame award was given to Likuliku Lagoon Resort who had been winning Accommodation Luxury for five years in a row since 2012.
Rosie Holidays also scooped Destination Marketing for the second year in a row to add to their spoils.
First time entrants, Flavours of Fiji Cooking School bagged two awards winning the Visitor Attraction and Activity and the new Culinary Services award.
The other new category introduced this year is the Specialised Tourism Services and Support to Industry which has been won by Essence of Fiji.
Sigatoka River Safari’s Jay Whyte and Josua Ratukuna were winners in the individual category. Whyte is ANZ FETA’s 2017 Tourism Industry Leader while Ratukuna is the Fiji Pride Champion.
Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa’s Executive Sous Chef Abhinesh Sharma is the Emerging Tourism Leader in of the categories introduced by ANZ FETA to motivate local talent.
Other winners on the night were Tour Managers in the Tour and Transport Operators category and Nanuya Island Resort won the Tourism Sustainability award.
Vuda Marina took out the Accommodation Budget award, Accommodation Quality went to Volivoli Beach Resort and Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort has again won the Accommodation Deluxe scoring a hat trick by winning the Best Deluxe Accommodation Award for the third year running while Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa won the Accommodation Luxury award.
This award recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to Fiji tourism over many years and their engagement in developing local community and ensuring future sustainability of industry with local talent.
2017 ANZ FETA Winners List:
Congratulations to the winners of the 21st ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards
- Fiji Pride Champion: Josua Ratukuna (Sigatoka River Safari)
- Emerging Tourism Leader: Abhinesh Sharma (Sofitel)
- Tourism Industry Leader: Jay Whyte (Sigatoka River Safari)
- Tour and Transport Operators: Tour Managers
- Visitor Attraction and Activity: Flavours of Fiji Cooking School
- Specialised Tourism Services and Support to Industry: Essence of Fiji
- Tourism Sustainability: Nanuya Island Resort
- Culinary Services: Flavours of Fiji Cooking School
- Destination Marketing: Rosie Holidays
- Accommodation Budget: Vuda Marina
- Accommodation Quality: Volivoli Beach Resort
- Accommodation Deluxe: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
- Accommodation Luxury: Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa
- Hall of Fame Award: Likuliku Lagoon Resort
- Visionary Award: Late Tui Lawa, Ratu Sevanaia Vatunitu
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Jenny Seeto, Captain Matereti Tuisue and Patrick Wong