The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) today announced the acquisition of the Marriott Denarau tourism assets, which include the 297-room Sheraton Resort, 246-room Westin Resort, and the 111 hectare Denarau Golf Course and Development Land.
FNPF acquired the assets from Marriott International and this adds to FNPF’s existing impressive stable of hotel assets that include the recently-opened Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa – home of the Fiji International Golf Tournament, Holiday Inn Suva and the Grand Pacific Hotel.
Fund Chairman Mr Ajith Kodagoda said: ‘This is a huge investment in Fiji’s major tourism destination and an investment which the Fund and our members can be proud of. The Denarau hotels have been operating profitably over the years and are expected to provide good returns to our members. The Development Land presents an even bigger investment opportunity and the Fund will explore ways to capitalise on this’.
“FNPF as a Fijian institution had followed proper traditional protocols and advised the Yavusa Navatulevu, Sila and Nabati (iTaukei landowners) of our intention to acquire these assets from the start. We believe that a vital component of the deal was the consent and blessings of the landowners for FNPF to operate on Denarau Island as one of the property owners”.
The assets boast a prime beachfront location on the north-western tip of Denarau Island – Fiji’s premier tourism and leisure destination. Denarau is the most established and high-profile tourism destination in Fiji and benefits greatly from its close proximity to Nadi International Airport and the Denarau Island Convention Centre, the largest conference facility in the country.
Fiji’s popularity as a modern, clean, friendly and safe holiday destination has seen visitor numbers to Fiji boom in recent years, particularly from the Australian market. According to recent statistics, the future is extremely positive given the stable governance, tropical climate, proximity to Australia and New Zealand and substantial increase in flights in recent years from not only Australia but also Japan, Hong Kong, the US and Singapore. The Fiji government has also invested significantly in tourism infrastructure, including substantial upgrades to the Nadi International Airport Terminal and the recently completed highway direct from the Airport to Denarau.
The five-star Sheraton Fiji Resort opened in 1987 and is built around a substantial lagoon pool complex and includes a selection of dining outlets and bars, including one of Denarau’s most popular restaurants – Flying Fish. The property also features numerous retail outlets, six swimming pools, a fitness centre, kids club, business centre and wedding chapel.
Right next door is The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. Opened in 1976, the 276-room resort features many amenities including The Kitchen Grill, a popular wine bar and grill, as well as six tennis courts, four swimming pools, a day spa, fitness centre, bowling green and retail outlets.
The Denarau Golf & Racquet Club encompasses over 111 hectares and includes an 18-hole championship golf course as well as a substantial clubhouse facility, a tennis centre and an abundance of surplus land with upside potential for future development. Marriott International will remain as operator of the assets well into the future, further enhancing their existing relationship with FNPF via the Marriott Momi Bay. Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Christina Chan advised ‘Marriott are delighted to further our partnership with FNPF in Fiji and look forward to working with FNPF well into the future with these assets’.
Mr Kodagoda commented that ‘the Sheraton and Westin, whilst already two of the most popular resorts in Fiji, will be further enhanced with significant refurbishment of both in the near future.
FNPF are committed to enhancing these assets to maintain their premier positions in the Fiji tourism market’. ‘We have already seen a significant uplift in the performance of the Westin post completion of the refurbishment of Block 7 in 2016 and we look forward to lifting the balance of the hotel to a similar quality of offering’.
The Fiji National Provident Fund is a defined contribution fund that provides superannuation services to its members. The operations of the Fund is guided by the FNPF Act 2011. FNPF is mandated by law to collect compulsory contributions from employees and employers towards the retirement savings of all workers in Fiji. The Fund also provides pre-retirement benefits such as housing, medical and education assistance. FNPF is a major investor in Fiji and one of the country’s largest property owners. The Fund also owns majority shares in Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited, Vodafone Fiji Limited, Home Finance Company Limited, and fully-owns the Natadola Bay Resort Limited (InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa), Holiday Inn Suva, Momi Bay Resort Pte Limited (Fiji Marriott Resort) and 25% of the Grand Pacific Hotel.