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Shangri-La’s Fijian Once Again In For Tourism Sustainability Award

Shangri-La’s Fijian Once Again In For Tourism Sustainability Award
One of the ocienview villas at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort.
February 03
10:13 2016

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa on Yanuca Island has shown continued efforts can lead one to success.

The resort has become a finalist in the 2015 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards.

The resort has previously won the award for Tourism Sustainability two years ago. This year, it has been nominated for the third time for Tourism Sustainability.

The biggest tourism awards of Fiji will be held on February 19 at the Denarau Convention Centre.

Resort general manager, Craig Powell, said the team feels very honoured to be considered again amongst the company of their peers in tourism.

“We hope our continued efforts to support the environment and tourism sustainability will garner greater involvement by all industries and not just tourism,” he said.

“The organisers have provided us all very specific criteria that are of course measurable and we were struck by how broad and yet focused our community programmes are.

“This means we are doing things internally and externally that mutually benefits the hotel and our community.

“This is important to us as we have called Nadroga our home for almost half a century now.

“In the process of collating all the information we required for these past few submissions which are very detailed, we realised just how much we had done.”

 

Setting benchmarks

Mr Powell said winning awards for anything just sets a benchmark for improving and learning and it allows them to be more introspective.

He said: “It has been extremely rewarding for us as a company and when all is said and done our record speaks for itself more than anything.”

“For Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa team the award allows them to be introspective and to take stock of how they have been working in the community.”

 

Tourism

Mr Powell believes Fiji has so much going for it as a tourist destination. But he stressed there is cost to doing business as well.

“Thus, we have to be constantly creative in terms of our offerings as we are competing against lower prices in other destinations,” he said.

“Despite everything, we remain a safe and a family-friendly destination which is a big plus and unique aspects of Fiji.”

 

Sun INTERVIEW – MR CRAIG POWELL

How would you describe things have evolved?

One of the most critical changes that have impacted not only on tourism but all industries is technology. It has changed how organisations have worked globally and it continues to evolve by the day. However, despite this, our challenge is maintaining our own uniqueness as a destination in our culture and the beautiful people. So while it is important to be digitally-savvy, at the end of the day it is our relationship that remains important and technology cannot replace how our service staff make a drink or serve food and delight a guest.

What are some of the things needed to stimulate the industry further?

We need to be able to package the pristine environments we live in and the commitment and stewardship we have for our community and our environment. So many guests are now interested about giving back in some small way and businesses have slowly started to change in terms of incorporating some aspect of this in their marketing strategies. We have reached a critical time in our history where we cannot afford not to do something as our industry in particular is so dependent on natural resources and we continually strive to strike a balance between looking after our community, our business and the environment.

 

What further opportunities do you see in this industry?

The tourism industry is so unique in that it impacts across multiple sectors. So in terms of our own resort responsible tourism for want of a better word it is what we strive to develop across all areas of our operation. This includes initiatives such as our Rooted in Nature launch which is basically working with local suppliers on sourcing sustainable ingredients for our kitchens.

 

During the downtimes in the tourism sector, what sort of strategies do you apply to make up for the slow period?

For our lower periods, we are able to do an ongoing local campaign which is successful as we target specific holidays such as Fiji Day or family holidays which appeal to a wide cross section of people.

 

Will Shangri-La Fijian Resort be doing any other investments/developments this year or soon?

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa will continue to invest in the improvement of its product and guest facilities through our renovation plans and capital expenditure that contributes to the overall quality of the guest experience.

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

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