Anne Majumdar

Family travel in Fiji is no longer about kids being deposited in the kids’ clubs as parents hit the pool with cocktail in hand. These days, families actually want to spend time together when on holiday.

The trend has been noticed by director of sales and marketing at Fiji’s Vomo Island, Karen Marvell.

Although the resort has been commended for its outstanding kids club facilities and “baby butlers”, families are often opting instead to spend all their time together.

Kids-Club-Village-at-Vomo-Island-Fiji-Facilities-Inside-the-Club-1600x900

“The type of families that come to stay with us are generally very time poor and don’t necessarily get to spend a lot of time together,” she told KarryOn.

“The new look of luxury is families wanting to spend time together – the father wants to spend time tossing his kids around the pool and everyone doing things together.”

Activities like Vomo’s daily guided snorkel tour are a particular favourite with families, Marvell revealed.

And kids are getting more experimental in their eating habits, opting for high quality dishes like grass-fed lamb cutlets with pea puree rather than the bog standard kiddie fare of times gone by.

The resort welcomes children in its main restaurant, with Marvell commenting that they are so well behaved because they are more used to eating out with their parents than previous generations.

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It represents a significant generational shift from the era when vacation time was spent trying to separate adults and kids.

“Parents today have so little time with their kids because they are out training, they’re at work, they’re doing whatever they do, so holidays are now a real chance to reconnect,” Marvell said.

Another major shift taking place on the island is the move away from lying around the swimming pool to instead seeking out things to do.

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“Definitely people are more active and getting involved in activities,” Marvell said.

Particularly popular is the Mount Vomo Sunrise Charity Run which was launched last September by Mark Beretta of TV’s Sunrise.

Guests pay FJ$10 to take part in the challenge which goes towards Cure Kids, a charity that raises funds for medical research and finding cures for childhood illnesses. To date, the campaign has raised more than $4,000.

Better-than-Beretta

“We’ve been blown away by the amount of people that do this every day,” Marvell said, adding that they are even ditching the island’s gym in favour of doing this run because it’s “more exciting”.

And forget the underwhelming food for which Fiji was once known. New approaches to food and beverage are seeing quality drastically improve. For example, Vomo’s head chef was selected for his restaurant rather than hotel background in order to step up its dining offering.

crab vomo

“Hotels got into super big rut of producing the same food that have always produced for last 30 years and putting the same stuff on the table – probably as recently as five years ago, food was still getting a bad rap,” Marvell commented.

“But I can comfortably say that food pretty much across the board in Fiji has definitely come up to a more sophisticated level.”

 

Are you noticing a difference in Fiji holidays?