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Editorial: Maximum golf mileage is food for thought for Opposition

Editorial: Maximum golf mileage is food for thought for Opposition
Wu Ashun at the Fiji International in 2015.Photo: PGA Australia
July 31
12:59 2018

Professional Golfers Association Fiji International is a must for Fiji.

Over the last four years, through its worldwide television reach, an average of 500 million people around the world in dozens of countries have been able to see the beauty of Natadola Bay Fiji in the comfort of their homes.

More than 4500 hours of television broadcast of the tournament and surrounding Fijian landscape have been viewed and accessed by deep pocketed golf enthusiasts across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, India, China, Taiwan, South East Asia, Europe and North America.

Golf is the fastest growing sport in the world and a sport the aspiring people of wealth play. The PGA Fiji International Golf tournament is among them.

We are not a major golfing nation and we will never be one.

This said, we have a once in a lifetime golf Hall of Famer and one of the greatest golfers this world has ever seen, Vijay Singh.

This is a man who many USA Presidents call on his personal phone number when they want to play a game of golf or spend a few days relaxing with.

Vijay was a phenomenon during his prime and once revered across the planet for his abilities on the golf course.

From Presidents to Kings, Vijay is on a one touch mobile phone dial and the preferred go to golfer; humble, articulate, shy and honest, with a real rags to riches story that only the powerful world leaders prefer to spend the day with.

The PGA Fiji International has delivered enormous tourism economic benefits for the $8m each year Government invests in it.

Tourism numbers have gone through the roof over the last five years from 650,000 in 2013 to a 2018 forecast of almost 900,000.

Tourism earnings have increased from $1.3billion five years ago to a forecast of $1.9b in 2018.

So many hotels have sprung up across Fiji in the past five years.

It has added much needed jobs to Fijians and shifting employment from the cane farming industry and other struggling sectors which undoubtedly gets fed millions and millions of dollars each year in subsidies.

One of Fiji’s most successful international exports and a business leader, who has worked for the biggest companies in the world, the widely respected Vincent Vasu Nair, has warned the Government not to bow to unschooled and ignorant opposition parties by stopping momentum, which Fiji Tourism is yielding for the benefit of Fijians.

Mr Nair was instrumental in the creation of the Fiji International because he was one of the founders of this ever growing sporting event.

Today, one in three Fijians are employed in the tourism sector.

Six years ago we hardly had one in five employees employed in the tourism sector.

The difference in terms of success for this Government is that Mr Bainimarama’s Government is widely seen by people as economists and business folks while opposition parties are seen to be there for their own interest.

Investing in a global television marketing programme via the PGA Fiji International Golf event has been the best investment any Fijian Government has entered into.

It is time the Opposition parties realise that managing Fiji’s economy is about having the requisite commercial acumen, brainpower and good old intellect.

It could be that the Opposition parties lack all of this hence reason why they lag appallingly in any voter polls relating to their ability to govern this nation.

The world now awaits this week’s splendour which is the PGA Fiji International.

The magic and beauty of our land and our people will once again be telecasted across the planet to attract them to visit and invest in our shores.

This certainly is food for thought for the Opposition parties.

Charles Chambers


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