SUNBIZ

Departing Gerard Knight Cautions Fijian Tourism Market

The future of tourism in Fiji looks strong and bright but the outgoing general manager of Radisson Blu resort on Denarau said the industry will have to balance the demand
30 Nov 2017 10:08
Departing Gerard Knight Cautions Fijian Tourism Market
From left: Radisson Blu resort outgoing general manager Gerard Knight, his wifeTrish Knight and their son Samuel Knight with a hotel staff member.

The future of tourism in Fiji looks strong and bright but the outgoing general manager of Radisson Blu resort on Denarau said the industry will have to balance the demand with the capacity it currently has.

“Fiji has to be a little bit careful and balance the number of hotels particularly here on the mainland with future demand, there’s a lot of competition from other destinations and I’ve been here through 5 very good years of tourism in Fiji,” said Gerard Knight.

Mr Knight has run the 270 Room Beachfront Resort for the past five years. He and his family were accorded moving farewell by landowners and staff.

He said: “With the challenges around taxation and visitor arrivals we just need to make sure that we can live with the demand, to deliver good returns to the investors and all the hotels particularly here in the west.”

However, Mr Knight said Fiji was unique and this set it apart from other holiday destinations.

“Fiji tourism will always have something to offer travelers that other parts of the world simply don’t offer so I think the future for tourism is bright.”

Mr Knight was farewelled along with his family and solemn ceremony accorded to him by the chiefly clan of Narewa and the staff of the hotel.

“It will never be about the buildings because it will always be about the people. 400 fabulous employees and about 60 more contractors that call the place home, all very special to me after 5 years. I’ll take memories away of all that they have achieved, all that have grown, developed,” he said,

On his future, Mr Knight said he was taking a much needed break after 19 years of being in the hotel industry.

“I made a conscious decision not to renew my contract and not look for another job just yet so I’m planning to have 3 – 4 months off and I’ve got a round-the-world trip planned and after that I’ll be looking for my next exciting opportunity,” said Mr Knight.

In a moving speech, representative of the Land Owning Community, Sekove Tuilakeba said the vanua of Nadi was going to miss a dynamic leader in Mr Knight.

“For the Land Owning Community his contribution was big in every way he helped. With churches, village donations, Tui Nadi installation and death and I as a person and contractor has benefitted a lot from Mr Knight in terms of good governance, simple bookkeeping and having effective meetings,” said Mr Tuilakeba.

Feedback:  luisa.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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