Tourism boards are gearing up to welcome tourists and are setting the ground right along with keeping the back office work in place. From appointing professionals who can add value in the post-vaccinated world to giving the appointee the support to bring back the tourism economy in place, these are prudent strategies being put into place.
Tourism Fiji, decided to be prepared for the future and hence have appointed tourism marketing senior executive, Brent Hill as Chief Executive Officer. Hill, who most recently was the Executive Director of Marketing for the South Australian Tourism Commission, brings over 16 years of experience in tourism and digital marketing, advertising, branding, communications, campaign, and executive strategy to Fiji’s National Tourism Office. He replaces former CEO Matt Stoeckel, whose tenure ended in December 2020.
Commenting on the tourism scenario, Tourism Fiji Chairman Mr. Andre Viljoen said: “We’re delighted to welcome someone of Brent’s calibre to this critically important role not just for Fijian tourism, but for the Fijian economy. Brent shone through in the extremely rigorous recruitment process initiated and conducted by the Board with PwC’s assistance, for a CEO to lead Tourism Fiji in these unprecedented times, where international tourism activity has been zero for over a year now. His proven expertise, experience and ideas for the industry’s revival are a perfect fit for Fiji’s current requirements.
Mr. Viljoen added: “When border restrictions ease and travel resumes, Fiji will need dynamism and creativity in marketing itself as an attractive, aspirational and safe destination.” According to him, Hill will be the right person to get all this in place. He firmly believes, Brent’s experience and a person of his calibre will not only help Fijian tourism, but the Fijian economy.
He further added, “We are in the same situation as every other leisure tourism destination in the world. All of us are going for the same markets, which are now smaller with lower discretionary spending ability. Brent is highly regarded in the industry given his many accomplishments, and we will need his wide range of existing relationships and management skills with key global trade partners to market our destination, and his excellent communications skills to rally our industry and stakeholders to a common purpose. His immediate focus will be to work with the Board and Fiji’s extremely competent health authorities to restore tourism activity.”
Fijian Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Faiyaz Koya further said, “Restoring tourism activity will not only restore jobs for hundreds of thousands of Fijians, it will also significantly contribute to the revival of the economy through the industry’s multiplier effect. We are turning the corner now with the rollout of our national vaccination programme in anticipation of market re-entry beyond our traditional markets. This sets the scene for Mr. Hill and Tourism Fiji to position Fiji as the ideal destination for not only our Aussie and Kiwi friends, but to those that are ready to travel. We will also look to him to pair our globally renowned values of true Fijian hospitality, friendliness and authenticity to the demands and expectations of the modern-day traveller.”