Plantation Island Resort Ready For 4000 Schoolies

  Plantation Island Resort in the Mamanucas will host the largest number of school students, or ‘schoolies’, numbering close to 4000 under the Unleash Programme. This is the 10th year
13 Nov 2018 10:00
Plantation Island Resort Ready For 4000 Schoolies
Fiji Airports staff with key stakeholders from the Immigration Department, Customs, Police, Health and Medical staff and inbound operators at Plantation Island Resort in the Mamanucas on November 10, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers


Plantation Island Resort in the Mamanucas will host the largest number of school students, or ‘schoolies’, numbering close to 4000 under the Unleash Programme.

This is the 10th year running of this programme in Fiji and was designed for Australian high school students in their last year travelling as groups.

These students usually book out the entire resort, as in the case of Plantation Island Resort in groups for about six nights and when they leave a new group comes in.

On Saturday, stakeholders at Fiji Airports, including immigration, customs, Police, health, medical, and inbound operators were at the resort working on the Unleash Programme.

“Fiji Airports has been very instrumental with supporting our inbound operators secure wholesalers from abroad in getting the schoolies programme called the Unleash Programme into Fiji,” Fiji Airports manager Airport Landside and Customer Service Joe Gray said.

“We have been receiving thousands of school children from Australia that select Fiji as their destination for their Unleash Programme meaning this is the last year of school for them.

“Plantation Island Resort is the biggest venue that actually caters for this particular event and the whole stakeholders of Nadi Airport actually come together and support this wonderful initiative and event every year,” Mr Gray said.

“There are two persons from every stakeholder at Nadi Airport that are here on the invite of the management and owners of the resort.

“While out here, we get to meet the management and the staff of Plantation Island Resort and discuss the co-ordination and facilitation of the schoolies programme which is starting Wednesday (tomorrow).”

The 4000 schoolies would be staying at the Plantation Island Resort over a total of six weeks.

Mr Gray said this meant a good sign of a strong economy.

“We are actually attracting a very strong group of travellers here and they come in big numbers. As an airport, we try to be the best host when it comes to this type of groups and events and the best we could do was to support our inbound operators and work with them to live a lasting impression on these visitors when they come.

“Immigration will ensure that their manning levels are all hands on deck and all present and that the flow is quick from when they check in through all the necessary checks at the airport.”

The Plantation Island Resort general manager Alex Wilson said the resort was all about family and keeping the staff employed.

“Late November is the softest time for our industry with many resorts and hotels releasing staff because it is quiet, yet by way of hosting Schoolies we able to retain our employees up through the Christmas period and January.”

Benefits for hosting schoolies:

He said the benefits derived from hosting schoolies are very rewarding.

“All our schoolies are mainly from Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast secondary schools,” Mr Wilson said.

“They are celebrating as school leavers after 12 years of being students.

“They are here to enjoy themselves knowing they will be cared for and well looked after and we have to think also of their parents on the other side of these events.

“If anything goes wrong we have parents and international media pursuing our wrongs, hence we partnered with professional experts in this area of events.

“The students have a lot of activities from ocean sporting activities, including Cloud 9, volleyball games and other activities.”

Mr Wilson said through this schoolies programme beneficiaries include Nadi Airport businesses, bus drivers, boat transfer staff, resort staff, local villages among others.

The first batch of schoolies is 573, followed by the second batch of 580, then 400 and another two other groups later.


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