Salote Naisua never dreamed that she would one day play a major part in the Tourism Industry.
Ms Naisua is currently the Front Office Manager for Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort along the Coral Coast. She has also been looking after after Public Relations for the Resort since 2014.
She was part of the team that helped the resort to be recognised in the 2018 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards to the Hall of Fame.
The former Jasper Williams High School Student has never regretted venturing into the Tourism Industry which she said has shaped her life.
“I actually began my working career with the Fiji Mocambo (now Novotel Nadi) in 1998 as a Meet and Greet Staff,” the Nailaga, Ba native said. Ms Naisua held the position for three months before she was offered a job at Fiji Mocambo.
The then sister hotel Shangri La Fijian Hotel ( now Shangri La’s Fijian Resort and Spa) on Yanuca Island in Cuvu as a Guest Services Agent.
She held this position for four years and was promoted to Guest Relations Officer. After three years in this position she was recognised for her hard and dedicated work and was promoted to Duty Manager.
In 2010, the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort offered her the position of Guest Services Manager and held on that position till 2017 were she was promoted to the position she currently holds.
She recalls: “Ba is not a tourism town so any thoughts of being involved in the tourism industry while growing up in Nailaga Village was never in my mind.
“So to join the tourism industry was a big challenge for me, but I made up my mind to make a career out of it.
“I was lucky to be assisted along the way by some senior staff at both the Fiji Mocambo and Shangri La Fijian Hotel.
It helped me with my transition into the growing tourism industry.” Ms Naisua said what made it easy during the transition was, as a Fijian, she had the natural gift of looking after the visitors which tourist had come to admire with all Fijians who worked in the tourism industry.
She said tourism now as compared to 1998 when she began her working career had gone through a lot of changes.
“Today it is important for Industry workers recognise the challenges they faced, considering the amount of competition for the tourist dollar both in the region and around the world.
“We must value the choice that visitors make to come to Fiji and assure they leave with an unforgettable experience. “Tourism has grown tremendously with more hotels and resorts.
“Tourism is now the back bone of the Economy and is a Clear indication of how the industry has grown. “I have no regrets joining the tourism industry and is the best choice I have ever made.”
Ms Naisua said her work has assisted her in her growth to where she is to today and as a citizen to be proud of being a Fijian.
“My work has made me meet a lot of people from different countries and while learning their culture broaden my knowledge on how I see things.”
Ms Naisua is married to Michael Bali who also works at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort as the Guest Services Manager.
The couple have four children.