By Ropate Valemei – Fiji Times
The annual Fijian International Yachting Visitors survey, conducted each year by Port Denarau Marina as an aid to market Fiji as a destination for this segment of the tourism sector, noted the sharp increase in yacht numbers last year.
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club was awarded the winner of the 2015/2016 Marine Industries Association (MIA) Marina of the Year Awards in recognition of its ‘Integrated Disabled Sailing Program’ at Port Denarau Marina.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya said the recognition fitted in with the government vision of developing a tourism sector based on quality of service.
“Fiji is just not another tourism destination, but a destination that provides that additional personal touch, a destination where people really care and a destination that leaves a lasting impression on its visitors,” said Mr Koya.
He added that the yachting industry’s contribution to the tourism sector was growing every year and the Government was working with the industry to provide the necessary support to ensure that this growth was maintained.
“Fiji is the hub of the Pacific and the ideal destination or stopover for yachts, including superyachts, hence it is important that necessary infrastructure is in place to maximise the returns from this industry.”
In a statement, Port Denarau Marina managing director Nigel Skeggs said Fiji’s growth as a yacht cruising destination had received a boost. “This is an incredible achievement both for our team and Fiji as a destination,” Mr Skeggs said.