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Meet Two Of Our Best GMs

Meet Two Of Our Best GMs
Post Fiji Limited Head of Finance Raiyaz Ahmed after being awarded his Master’s Degree of Commerce in Professional Accounting.
September 22
15:59 2014

While being acknowledged in our local tourism industry is a big achievement in itself, getting international recognition definitely a big deal too.

After all, it is the tourists who decide the success or failure of a country’s tourism industry.

For two of the general managers in our resorts here, the 2014 HM Awards event was nothing short of being magnificent.

This was because of the recognition they received in front of almost 600 hoteliers, industry leaders and major suppliers of the Australians, New Zealand and Pacific accommodation industry.

Peter Hopgood from Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji and Bob Speed from Wyndham Fiji Resort Denarau Island were highly commended for their work in the best South Pacific General Manager award category.

The HM Awards were launched in 2002 to acknowledge excellence in the hotel and accommodation industry from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

The winners are decided based on votes by travel and trade professionals worldwide.

Sun Business caught up with the two gentlemen on their recognition, their plans and the performance of their resorts.

With Bob Speed: General Manager of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, Denarau Island

How do you feel being highly commended in the HM Awards? Is this the first time for this?

This is the second time I have received highly commended in the HM Awards and I feel very honoured to have done so.

What sort of strategy do you use which sets you apart from the rest and worthy of this recognition?

We believe that such recognition awards are about the whole team and not just an individual. We are thus proud of our whole team here with special mention to the departmental managers and supervisors who make it all happen hour by hour day by day.

How do you see the tourism industry in Fiji at the moment?

We view the Fijian tourism industry in a very positive manner as we believe all stakeholders have for some time been working towards stronger foundations for the expected substantial growth in the coming years.

For Wyndham Fiji – what is the occupancy like this year compared to the previous year?

We are running at higher occupancy levels than the same period last year which is particularly pleasing as we now include a substantial inventory increase which came on line late last year.

What sort of new markets/initiatives are you working towards?

We believe that if creative destination Fiji marketing is supported by supplying a memorable Fijian holiday experience for our visitors, not only will our arrival numbers increase, the returnee holiday makers here will continue for generations to come.

With Peter Hopgood: General Manager Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji Resort

How do you feel being highly commended in the HM Awards? Is this the first time for this?

It is a great acknowledgement to receive the  “Highly Commended” award. Resorts are all about teams therefore my award was more about our team rather than the individual.

My team at Outrigger is the best team that I have had the pleasure to work with in 30 years in hospitality – They are more like family to me! I really do feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with these wonderful people.

What sort of strategy do you use which sets you apart from the rest and worthy of this recognition?

Our goal at Outrigger is to be the best of the best in whatever we do at the resort. Best Restaurants, Best Spas, Best Butlers, Best Nannies etc etc. This then means that I have to be the best General Manager that I can possibly be and make sure that I look after the safety and welfare of my staff and my guests.

How do you see the tourism industry in Fiji at the moment?

I truly believe that we are right on the edge with tourism in Fiji at the moment. We need more visitors but we seem to have some challenges on getting enough seats on flights into the country.

There also seems to be a large number of transient passengers taking up seats on airlines that would normally be offered to tourists coming to Fiji. I fully understand and appreciate from a commercial sense what the strategies of the airlines are but my number one priority is to grow and strengthen tourism into Fiji and help to grow the Fijian economy.

For Outrigger – what is the occupancy like this year compared to the previous year?

The first three months of 2014 were disastrous for most of the resorts in Fiji. We were 10 per cent down on our occupancies from the previous year. Since April occupancies have been reasonably steady with June, July and August on par with previous years.

What sort of new markets/initiatives are you working towards?

We have three key market initiatives going forward! Protect our rate, grow business from North America and New Zealand, Grow our MICE business.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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