Rituparna Chatterjee – Mumbai
With a focus on strengthening its B2B presence in India, Tourism Fiji, the national tourism board of Fiji, is completely revamping its Fiji Matai Specialist Programme, a destination loyalty programme for travel agents selling Fiji, this year. Speaking on the reason for revamping the specialist programme, Rick Hamilton, chief executive officer, Tourism Fiji stated, “Apart from technical marketing, we are also undertaking sales initiatives, wherein the Fiji Matai Specialist Programme is being revamped totally. The revamp will be completed by the second quarter of this year. The resorts change significantly year-on-year and there has been an addition of many new resorts. Hence the travel agents need to be aware of the new properties and activities on board.”
The specialist programme will be tailored to each country. For instance, the specialist programme will be available in Chinese language for China. In October-November, 2013, the specialist programme recorded 12 agents under it. “We are looking at significantly increasing these numbers. Presently, the specialist programme isn’t running successfully since all the countries have regionalised the actual programme. Hence we are rebranding, repositioning the specialists programme to bring about consistency in each country. So what you see in India will be the same in America. But what we will be selling will be different depending upon market requirements,” mentioned Hamilton.
In 2013, Fiji recorded 30 per cent increase in tourist arrivals from 2012. “Approximately 3000-3500 Indian tourists visit Fiji and we expect this market to grow over a period over time,” he opined adding, “Most of the customers we get are honeymooners and high-end customers. There is certainly an opportunity for the family market.” The maximum tourist numbers to Fiji from India are evenly split between Mumbai and Delhi, which are Fiji’s primary source markets. As for 2014, Tourism Fiji is expecting a double digit growth in arrivals from India.