Run, Walk, Wheel Together in memory of late Marriott President Arne M. Sorenson

Run, Walk, Wheel Together in memory of late Marriott President Arne M. Sorenson

Nadi 29 March 2021 – Associates from Marriott International Hotels & Resorts in Fiji joined the global campaign in memory of its late CEO and president Arne M. Sorenson by coming together as a global community to celebrate his life by doing something he loved.

Sorenson, who was an avid fan of running, passed away in February, aged 62, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Associates at the Sheraton & Westin Hotels & Resorts started by gathering at the Coco Palms Lounge at 6.30 am last Wednesday for registrations before commencing the walk, run or wheeling around Denarau Island while collecting litter along the way and thinking or talking about their favourite Arne memory.

Arne Sorenson was always on the move. One of his favourite ways to discover a new place was to go for a run, often joined by local associates, to explore and connect with others. The two-hour event combined covered over 120KM.

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay held a similar event last Sunday starting at the resort to remember the late Sorenson was renowned for his leadership on difficult national and global issues and steered Marriott to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, and human trafficking awareness.

Becoming only the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname, Sorenson led the company to strong growth including the $13-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Staff at Challenge Plaza in Nadi Choose to Challenge this International Women’s Day

Staff at Challenge Plaza in Nadi Choose to Challenge this International Women’s Day

Nadi, March 8, 2021 – Staff of Tourism Fiji and fellow tenants at the Challenge Plaza Complex in Namaka, Nadi gathered today to mark International Women’s Day. The event allowed the women to share their experiences, unique challenges, and support for each other as working women.

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 to observe women in leadership roles and their contribution to cultural, political, social and economic development.

Speaking at the event this morning was Catherine O’Donnell, owner of the popular western eatery, Mama’s Pizza, who said 2020 was a tough year for the business but that their local customers have kept them going.

In recalling fond memories of her single mum opening up the business back in 1984, Catherine said her mother’s passion and hard work contributed to the success of the business.

She explained, “My mum’s hard work got the business to where it is today, for the first four years she didn’t take a day off. I remember growing up in the business and pitching in where I could whether it was washing dishes or cleaning, it was very much a family affair.”

When asked how the pandemic had impacted the business she said, “It is essential, in challenging times, to stay consistent and be positive – that’s what we’ve done.”

Her one advice to women on International Women’s Day was to challenge themselves to take some time off and to try and keep a positive mindset.

“As women, we’re always working, and I think it’s important to take a break too and have some time to ourselves to rest. I also want to encourage us all to stay positive because there’s always something to be grateful for every single day,” Catherine said.

Tourism Fiji’s Director of Marketing Emma Campbell said, “Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we focus our attention on some of the amazing women who work at Tourism Fiji.  The Global Pandemic may have impacted our ways of working significantly, but we’ve embraced this challenge, come together, and we are a strong team.  This International Women’s Day I choose to champion the amazing talent in my team by embracing their strengths and continuously supporting their personal development.”

Some of the challenges that the Tourism Fiji women chose this year include: 

  • I choose to challenge the negative stereotype around young people in leadership positions in the workplace 
  • I choose to be the best version of a working mom and challenge stereotypes advocating maternity being a speed bump in a woman’s career 
  • I will manage a gender equal mindset 
  • I challenge myself and younger women to stand up against bullying and provide support to those who are victims of bullying 

The day is an opportunity to acknowledge and raise awareness of women’s rights and gender equality. 

Giving Back to the Community – Donations to Animals Fiji Shelter

Giving Back to the Community – Donations to Animals Fiji Shelter

Nadi, Fiji -­ March 01, 2020 – Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay’s team of associates visits Animals Fiji shelter at Nasoso in Nadi, donating retired paper materials through the ‘Solia Lesu’ (Give Back) program. The resort team had a delightful opportunity to also tour and visit the sheltered pets, further recognizing the types of service offered to care for animals at the shelter for adoption, caretaking and livelihood enhancements especially for those staying at the shelter. Animals Fiji also highlighted the engaged community works carried out to help the strays in Fiji, particularly within the areas in the Western and Northern divisions. The donated paper materials will help the sheltered pets to have daily clean flooring to sleep and play on within their safely contained pens.

“The Solia Lesu program was initially founded in 2020 to establish aid towards our associates as well as the community where the resort had fundraised for food packs, school stationaries and toys, including hotel linens for donations. We are glad to have extended our initiative towards the furry friends and placing the recyclable telephone directories into better use at the Animals Fiji shelter. We look forward to continuing developing meaningful and supportive relationships with the community through our TakeCare culture of Marriott International,” says Silvano Dressino, General Manager of Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay.

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay had also extended love towards animals welcoming pet to stay with the Pawfect Staycation package, an ideal holiday plan for travellers with service animals or well-mannered pets in one of our Duplex Ocean Front rooms. Guests travelling with their canine pets will be offered a special dog biscuit made by our chefs and a drinking bowl is placed into rooms. The room type and location is perfect for guests to go on relaxing walks on the footpaths between lush gardens with calming views of the Pacific Ocean or take a swim in the ocean. Dining areas with comfortable sitting spaces are also specially allocated for guests with their four-legged friend. An additional $50 cleaning fees is charged for pet check-ins. For more information on the Pawfect Staycation, contact the resort directly on + 679 670 7000 or +679 890 6038.

Marriott Resort and The Westin Resort Introduces ‘Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy’

Marriott Resort and The Westin Resort Introduces ‘Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy’

Nadi 5 February 2021 – Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, and with travellers increasingly aspiring to make a positive impact on the communities they visit whether locally or abroad, Marriott International, Fiji Resorts introduces Community Engagement and Marine Conservation, as part of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy. Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay and The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa joins 14 other Marriott International properties across the Asia-Pacific as part of the program’s pilot launch. Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy is a program offering meaningful travel across the Asia-Pacific, aiming to create opportunities for guests forge first-hand connections with local communities and the environment during their stay, promoting both cultural understanding and positive change.

Nestled between the Heineken House Restaurant and Denarau Island Golf Course lies Denarau’s only farm, an organic 4-hectare oasis of fresh Fijian produce that serves as the heart of our Marriott International, Sheraton and Westin Resorts. Guests are invited to participate in a number of hands-on activities to learn more about organic farming and the benefits for local consumption, carbon footprint and the local economy. Some of these activities are farm tours, vegetable harvesting, and a farm to fork experience. The farm provides a growing platform to minimize our need to import whilst displaying the bounty of Fijian produce to guests, associates and local farmers alike. The projects also aim to provide training for local farmers to adopt the skills of organic farming.

The Marriott International for Mangroves, Rivers and Reefs works to fund projects that will sustain, manage and protect Fiji’s important marine ecosystem in partnership with The Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji. As a part of the experience, guests are invited to part take in scheduled projects such as mangrove and coral planting, giant clam reseeding and to establish a turtle sanctuary at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay. Guests are offered an option to donate FJ$5 per room upon check-out to the room bill. The donations will be directed to fund projects available throughout the year.

“One of the growing trends we’re observing is how conscious people are of their personal impact on the environment and the destinations they visit said, Neeraj Chadha, Multi-Property Vice President, Fiji & Samoa – Marriott International. Environmental Protection, Community Engagement and Marine Conservation experiences offered at our Denarau and Momi Bay property provide an excellent opportunity for our guests to connect with the local communities and nature, allowing them to give back while staying with us. We are excited to launch the three main experience pillars as part of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy and look forward to bringing truly meaningful travel to our guests at home, or from abroad once international travel resumes. Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy features 15 meaningful experiences across three distinct pillars environmental protection, community engagement and marine conservation.

For more information on Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, please visit www.marriottbonvoyasia.com/goodtravel

Mana Island Gives Back to Staff

Mana Island Gives Back to Staff

Mana Island Resort 22 December 2020 – As we approach the end of the year 2020, we look back at our year and we can all agree that it has been a rough year for all staff & company due to this global pandemic-COVID 19.

Despite Mana Island Resort & Spa’s closure since March 2020 and the financial constraints, the company has to endure until
we re-open to the world. The Managing Director- Mr Kaoru Gocho together with the company owner and board of directors have agreed to gift all staff a shopping voucher of one hundred dollars ($ 100.00) to assist families during this festive season.

The company would like to express its greatest appreciation to all the staff & management for continued loyalty and contribution throughout the year and we have confidence that the borders will open again soon and we can all meet again at our magical island.

Furthermore, we would like to applaud all the staff that attended our post-Covid 19 returnee event at Lautoka on the 4th of November 2020 despite our current situation. It was indeed a successful one and we are happy to announce that we will be having our second event on Friday, 12th of February 2021.

From the Owner Managing Director and board of directors- we wish very merry Christmas and hope that the year 2021 brings lots of prosperity and joy for all

Relief provided to Yasawa and Mamanuca Island villages

Relief provided to Yasawa and Mamanuca Island villages

South Seas Cruises 24 December 2020 – In the lead-up to Christmas, South Sea Cruises including its subsidiary brands of Blue Lagoon Cruises, Awesome Adventures, and Vinaka Fiji wanted to share some joy and good tidings. The villages and communities of the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands largely rely on income from the international visitors who travel to the region aboard their various services.

With no international visitors since March, these villages and communities like a lot of Fiji have incurred a challenging year. In order to help these villages and communities, South Sea Cruises partnered with other leading industry operators in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island’s in setting up and driving donations from former guests and customers to best assist.

The donations received by South Sea Cruises and our subsidiary brands have been substantial and allowed the company to provide some much-needed assistance in the form of over $20K worth of essential food and hygiene items. Earlier this week those donations allocated to the Yasawa region were delivered by staff and management of South Sea Cruises aboard their vessel, the Yasawa Flyer II. These donations will benefit more than 4,000 people across the region just in time for Christmas.

South Sea Cruises CEO Brad Rutherford said he was “humbled by their reception within the villages and communities of the Yasawa Islands earlier this week” He went onto state that “the Yasawa Islands are extremely important for our business and we’ve long supported the beautiful people of the region not only through the operation of our various tourism products but also through our not-for-profit organisation; Vinaka Fiji which sole aim is to improve the provision of basic needs and amenities within various Yasawa villages and communities as well as enhance and protect the natural environment through introducing and promoting sustainable practices.” South Sea Cruises would also like to acknowledge those companies who also donated additional items including Coca-Cola, Asaleo Care, P. Meghji, Yees Supermarket and Frezco Beverages. Also to Pacific Energy who sponsored 2000 litres of diesel fuel.

South Sea Cruises is operating a series of ‘love our local’ cruises to the region aboard Blue Lagoon Cruises over Christmas and into the New Year. These are the first tourism specific services returning to the Yasawa Islands since Fiji closed its borders in March. The local villages and communities are excited to be welcoming Blue Lagoon Cruises back and are looking forward to tourism services recommencing on a regular basis once Fiji’s borders reopen and it’s deemed safe to do so.

Fiji Airways brings in 17 tonnes of relief supplies donated by New Zealand

Fiji Airways brings in 17 tonnes of relief supplies donated by New Zealand

Fiji Airways 22 Dec 2020 – Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, has flown in almost 17 tonnes of relief supplies and equipment from Auckland sent by the New Zealand Government to the Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). Overnight, a Fiji Airways Airbus A330 freighter service brought in numerous pallets of supplies sent by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, facilitated by the New Zealand High Commission, Fiji’s Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Items flown over include mother and infant kits, generators, chainsaws, family hygiene kits, agriculture tool and shelter kits, collapsible water containers and other supplies.

Mr. Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO said: “We stand ready to assist Fiji and its partners in recovery and relief efforts after the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasa. We were only too happy to bring in the 17 tonnes of relief supplies free of charge when approached by the New Zealand High Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Our assistance efforts after TC Yasa began last Friday when we flew a special Fiji Link flight to Labasa as soon as the airport was ready, carrying essential medical supplies and personnel from various Government Ministries. This included six doctors and medical specialists from the Ministry of Health.”

Fiji Airways requests all international organisations and individuals wishing to send relief supplies to coordinate their efforts through the Fiji NDMO.

Fiji Airways Hands Over $17,000 in Proceeds from FJ 50 Special Flight

Fiji Airways Hands Over $17,000 in Proceeds from FJ 50 Special Flight

Fiji Airways today handed a cheque for just over $17,000 to the Fiji Cancer Society. The donation was from the proceeds of the FJ 50 Special Flight operated by the airline on 10th October.

Fiji Cancer Society CEO Belinda Chan received the cheque from Fiji Airways’ Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs Shaenaz Voss, during the airline’s annual Pinktober Morning Tea. Ms. Chan thanked the airline and passengers from the FJ 50 Special Flight for this donation, which will assist the FCS help Fijians fighting cancer.

Further funds have also been raised by the airline’s staff for the Fiji Cancer Society, as well as for a colleague who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Marriott International Fiji Resorts Launch Light for Hope Campaign

Marriott International Fiji Resorts Launch Light for Hope Campaign

Denarau Island – 27 May 2020 – The Westin Denarau Fiji Resort & Spa have launched the ‘Light for Hope’ campaign to build confidence and give guests and associates ‘hope’ and something to look forward to. Marriott International hotels across Asia Pacific have engaged in these ‘feel good and give hope’ initiatives which look to spread positivity amidst the challenging times the world is currently facing.

As part of the initiative, a symbol of a smiley face is lit on the façade of hotels to project a happy demeanour radiating positivity, with hopes that it brings a smile to the faces of everyone who sees it. A smiley face was recently projected on the lobby façade at the Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa with the support of the inhouse audio and visual company, Micro-Hire.

“On the 20th of May we celebrated Marriott International’s 93rd Anniversary and we hope the lit smiley face on our signature bure at the Westin lobby will act as a beacon of hope to our associates, to continue to spread our Bula smiles and Bula spirits to the rest of the world and stay positive during these challenging times,” says Neeraj Chadha, Multi-Property Vice President, Fiji & Samoa – Marriott International and General Manager – Sheraton & Westin Resorts, Fiji.

As part of the ‘Feel Good’ engagement, the Sales and marketing team have also been conducting virtual calls and meetings with key contacts, sharing positive stories and keeping the spirits high.

“I am grateful our business associates have extended their support, with MicroHire bringing to life our visions for the ‘Light for Hope’ campaign. It is during such times that we must continue to work together, especially as an industry,” commented Neeraj Chadha.

Sheraton Fiji Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island gives back to Yanuya Village

Sheraton Fiji Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island gives back to Yanuya Village

Tokoriki Island 20 May 2020 – The Solia Lesu by Marriott foundation, continued its support efforts to positively impact the communities it operates in. The recent delivery was done at Yanuya Village in the Mamamanuca Islands. This is the thirteenth village community the foundation has successfully partnered with.

“We are very proud to be able to make a difference in the lives of people during this difficult chapter. Not only has the current pandemic had a devastating impact on the livelihoods of people here but also the recent catastrophic tropical cyclone Harold. It is astounding to see how Fijians are coping with the situation and not letting this deter them. Their Bula Spirit and Bula smiles give you hope and optimism.” commented Joakim Zetterberg, Hotel Manager, Sheraton Fiji Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island “As an industry of people taking care of people, these communities have always been with us to welcome guests and take care of them and times like these are when they need us.”

Farrah Shazleen, Cluster Director of Human Resources, Marriott International Fiji Resorts together with the executive committee personally travelled to Yanuya Village and delivered over bags of rice and flour, gallons of cooking oil, various types of seedlings and linen to the village headman Jone and Chief of Vunativi clan.

In addition to these, four engineers from the property also assisted the villagers by training them on how to get clean drinking water and how to fix the water tanks which had been previously leaking or damaged. The engineering team fixed a few solar systems which were not working due to the damages sustained during tropical cyclone Harold. Further to this, they educated the villagers on the generator and other mechanical tools and did consultations for repair work with what they need to have them fixed.

Associates on Tokoriki Island moreover made effort for a major cleanup of Yanuya beach to restore it after cyclone with village the kids.

Solia Lesu, which means to give back is part of an initiative by Marriott International Fiji involving its five Fiji properties, namely the Westin Denarau Fiji Resort & Spa, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas, Sheraton Tokoriki and Marriott Momi Bay Fiji.

Solia Lesu by Marriott foundation stems off the Nurture pillar of Serve 360 that believes in making the communities where we operate better places to live, work and visit. To support the resiliency and sustainable development of these communities, we invest in the vitality of their children and natural resources, as well as deliver aid and support, especially in times of need.

3500 mangrove seedlings planted in Lautoka

3500 mangrove seedlings planted in Lautoka

The Fiji Times, 03 February 2020 – THE Mamanuca Environment Society and Fiji Airports kicked off the new year with an ambitious coastal rehabilitation project that resulted in the replanting of 3500 mangrove seedlings in Vuda, Lautoka.

MES co-ordinator Marica Vakacola said the replanting exercise was one of the largest ever conducted by the two organisations.

“The mangrove area is very close to the two main villages in the Vuda and Saweni area,” he said.…read more