SUNBIZ

Local Guests The Immediate Hope For Businesses In Pacific Habour

In Pacific Habour, business may not be thriving, but it’s open, as operators repackage their deals to entice locals.
20 Apr 2020 15:03
Local Guests The Immediate Hope For Businesses In Pacific Habour
Apetia Tui (left) and Mikaele Gukibau of Legacy Cafe and Health Bar at Pacific Harbour, prepare orders for home delivery on April 16, 2020.

Local guests are the new rave among tourism and hospitality operators.

In Pacific Habour, business may not be thriving, but it’s open, as operators repackage their deals to entice locals.

Three examples from the nearest hotel and resort destination to Suva.

Uprising Beach Resort

Uprising Beach Resort has reduced its rates to as low as $135 a night.

Even as the resort forecast a loss of $1.6 million in revenue for 2020, it remained optimistic that business will eventually pick up, manager Rusiate Naulivou said.

The resort is already working with national airline Fiji Airways to offer specials for foreign visitors when the airline resumes flights to certain destinations in the months ahead, he said.

“We’ve offered them a few specials from next month to May 2022.”

“We have an added advantage in that the local market has been the driving force of the business since we started.

“The locals have always made up that estimated 40 per cent market for us.

“It’s a bonus that Pacific Harbour is the adventure capital of Fiji.”

Mr Naulivou said business at the resort picked up when the main Suva area was cordoned off as a confinement zone.

“We went from one per cent occupancy to 13 per cent during the lockdown.

“We had locals booking in who could not access Suva during the lockdown.”

Mr Naulivou said expatriates had also capitalised on the easy rates offered by the resort.

“We have a few locals and some expatriates in house.

“This time last year, the resort was fully booked until November.”

Occupancy at the end of the first quarter of each year is usually forecast at 60 per cent to 70 per cent, he said.

“Guests can bring their cooking utensils and cook here if they want to,” Mr Naulivou said.

The resort employs 27 workers of which 13 are engaged on a 20-hour week.

Terra Trek Tours

Terra Trek Tours is an adventurous self driven ride to a waterfall inland at Pacific Harbour.

Owner Ashwini Prasad said tours were on offer for discounts that went as low as 60 per cent.

“We’re not busy, but we’re open.”

Terra Trek Tours offers family tours in place of group tours, Ms Prasad said.

It’s a social distancing measure, she said.

The Terra Trek Tours offers a 30 minutes drive one way followed by a 10 minute trekking to the ultimate destination, which is a waterfall.

“We are anticipating positive response from the locals in the days ahead.”

Terra Trek can cart 16 passengers at a time.

Legacy Cafe and Health Bar

Located at the Arts Village in Pacific Harbour, Legacy Cafe and Health Bar is perfect for a quick healthy bite.

Spokesman Sakiusa Bolaira said the restaurant reopened three days ago and has since been snowed under with takeaway orders.

“People are coming out, but cautiousness at the same time while practising social distancing.”

The restaurant launched in February but closed to take precautionary measures as the coronavirus pandemic hit Fiji, he said.

Legacy Cafe and Health Bar have since hired kitchen workers who were laid off by surrounding hotels and resorts, he said.

“People want decent food.

“Given the market we serve, our menu has to keep evolving because we’re dealing with people from all over the world, from all walks of life, and a retiree market at that.

“We have to be broadminded in this business.”

Mr Bolaira said the next big thing for Legacy Cafe and Health Bar would be food delivery.

“We have people calling us during curfew hours asking us to deliver their coffee.

“Unfortunately, we don’t provide that.

“But food delivery will be the way to go.”

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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