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A Very Big First For Rosie

  On Wednesday Rosie Holidays broke the news that they were bringing a very large incentive group from China to Fiji. This represents a first large scale incentive group from
29 Oct 2016 11:00
A Very Big First For Rosie
Organisers from Infinitus China visiting Fiji in April, learning about the Fijian lovo hosted by Rosie Group.

 

On Wednesday Rosie Holidays broke the news that they were bringing a very large incentive group from China to Fiji.

This represents a first large scale incentive group from that source market, an area of vast potential and one that Rosie has been quietly developing over 11 years.

Rosie first entered the China market in 2005, pioneering the representation for Fiji as a tourist destination.

In 2008, they opened their first office in China in the city of Shanghai and began a gradual expansion.

Today they have offices in 3 cities in China and more importantly a dedicated Chinese speaking staff of 26 located permanently in their Nadi headquarters.

Tony Whitton, CEO of the Rosie Group says: “Without having the right people in place in Fiji any effort to penetrate the China tourist market would be less than successful.

“We saw this early and started to build a dedicated China team which forms the backbone of our whole business approach”.

One of the most important people in the Rosie approach to China is the Rosie General Manager, Eroni Paumau, who has been at the forefront of the campaign from the very start and continures to be involved to this day.

 

Background

Two years ago Rosie invested heavily in establishing a special charter product, built around the Chinese New Year.

They worked closely with Fiji Airways to provide direct flights in wide bodied aircraft, the A330, 300 and created special packages for the Chinese tourists from Beijing to celebrate the New Year in Fiji.

Because of Fiji’s special location on the international dateline, which makes the country the first to enter each day, the visitors were the first Chinese in the world to greet the New Year.

The product was an instant success and in 2016 Rosie offered an expanded version which included Taiwan and both Beijing and Shanghai.

The other important thing the charters did was to prove to the major wholesalers in China that Fiji was a viable destination for their customers.

The charters also demonstrated that Fiji, with its large local Chinese population, has a wide range of Chinese food available in both resorts and local Chinese restaurants.

Also the visa free arrangements for Chinese nationals and the environment, safety and quality of infrastructure in the country.

All this set a great platform to move forward. Nearly two years ago Rosie Holidays set about selling Fiji to the MICE market, which has turned to reality with the arrival of the first group in Fiji this weekend.

This will bring into Fiji over 1200 people and is expected to contribute over $50 million in foreign currency to the economy.

 

The concept used

The concept that Rosie developed for the Infinitus China is also somewhat unique.

It was developed working closely with the China based incentive organiser GZL who visited Fiji as part of the process of developing to incentive and they were favourably impressed with what Fiji had to offer and what Rosie could do (and had already done for other companies).

The company wanted to reward their high performing executives and were convinced that Fiji offered all the parameters they had set, a strong living culture, a pure environment, world class tourist infrastructure, an understanding of the needs of Chinese and a unique experience.

Fiji ticked off every box. Rosie also built the visit into two separate waves of six hundred passengers each and used a combination of charter and scheduled airlines involving Fiji Airways and Korean Air.

The first group will depart Fiji after a week on the aircraft that bring in the second group. Participants will use a range of hotels on Denarau and the Double Tree on Sonasali.

Iifinitus is part of a Chinese company that is over as hundred years old and is regarded as one of the leading and most innovative companies in China

 

MICE market and its importance

The MICE acronym stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events and is a major niche market worldwide.

The Fiji tourism infrastructure is perfect to service the market and has good experience. In fact, in some segments such as the meetings and conferences Fiji is considered the regional hub and has been very successful in attracting a large amount of business.

These two segments include governments, both regionally and internationally, non-government organisations including the UN and EU and international business organisations.

Another large segment is the Incentives market, a concept where organisations, including private sector companies and other groups provide rewards for their employees for outstanding performance or for their customers for loyalty and achieving sales objectives.

While he rewards are sometimes goods of money, the major part is travel and an event in an exciting location, allowing the opportunity for participants to get to know each other and to strengthen the bond between them.

 

Requirements

The organisations planning incentives generally have a set of criteria that have to be met by the destination and the planning and implementation of the trip is, in itself, a major business with many highly skilled operators providing the planning and implementation services.

The single most important criteria is always that the whole event has to happen without a hitch or unforeseen circumstances causing disappointment, that there are no health or personal security issues for the participants and the whole event has to be a huge memorable experience.

There are also a number of other criteria, which vary depending on the culture of the organisation that form a part of the bid for the business.

For a tourist destination the MICE market is attractive for a number of reasons. The event is always planned a long time in advance, with planning typically starting around eighteen months out.

 

Planning

Such long term planning allows the destination to better utilise the plant and infrastructure to maximise profit.

Generally the event is not too tightly time sensitive so the destination can use wither low season or shoulder season, again allowing utilisation of plant and infrastructure that would otherwise be idle.

The event is also important to the organisation involved and is not particularly price sensitive, again allowing for good profits and the destination is encouraged to provide unique or special events to add to the impact of the experience, adding additional spend.

The MICE market is a very profitable niche segment and generally provides opportunities for the tourism dollar to be spread widely, particularly to the local community which often misses out on spend from the usual vacation tourist.

In the case of the Rosie Chinese incentive groups, there is a large component of the activities being provided ire involving the local communities.

The initative by Rosie Holidays in developing the MICE market in China holds great potential for Fiji.

The economy will benefit from the large amounts of money this sort of product activity injects into the country, the tourist money will be spread further, plant and infrastructure that could otherwise be idle will be used.

Also the understanding of what Fiji offers as a destination will be better developed.

And China represents a vast opportunity for Fiji, an opportunity that has, until lately, been waiting to be activated.

As Mr Whitton says: “China is a very attractive market. It has over a million billionaires and the whole population is prepared to spend for new and worthwhile experiences”

Fiji stands ready to provide those experiences.
John Ross is a Nadi-based marketing and advertising specialist with a long background in tourism. For feedback on this article, please email him: johnrossfiji@gmail.com

 

 

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