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Keeping The Bula Spirit Alive: Fiji's September Happiness Update

Looking for some feel-good Fiji vibes in your life right now? We're bringing the Bula spirit to you, with a round-up of all the amazing things that have been happening in the friendly island nation.

Looking for some feel-good Fiji vibes in your life right now? We’re bringing the Bula spirit to you, with a round-up of all the amazing things that have been happening in the friendly island nation.

We’re pretty sure that a little dreamy Fiji inspo will always manage to brighten up your day and put a smile on your face, so here we are, dishing up the good news and sharing positivity from the 333 island country.

From happy hour TV fun to conservation programs, and cook ups to supporting local communities, the Bulanaires of Fiji have been making the most out of the forced travel hiatus COVID-19 has brought and are focusing their energy on what they can do to make their home a better place for both locals and travellers, when they are reunited, in the not-so-distant future.

So, let’s get stuck into it… here’s the round-up of happy updates from Fiji:

Episode 3 of Happy Hour TV has the happiest news yet!

Tourism Fiji has released the third episode of Happy Hour TV, a feel-good news YouTube series delivering positive news stories straight to your screen at a time when we need it most.

This third instalment of HHTV interviews the Cooper Family, who were the first international family to arrive through Fiji’s Blue Lane initiative. The episode also travels to Turtle Island for a big shipment of donated goods being brought to locals thanks to generous return guests, as well as sharing highlights from the World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji.

Kokomo Private Island championing sustainability projects

Fiji
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Kokomo Private Island has not been wasting any time helping preserve the natural environment during Covid-19. Here are some updates on the work they have been leading in Kadavu over the last few months:

  • Kokomo Manta Conservation Project (Acoustic Tags & Satellite Tag deployment) – in the past couple of months Kokomo has deployed 17 new acoustic tags as part of its collaborative tagging project with The Manta Project Fiji (an affiliate of the Manta Trust Fiji) bringing the total number of acoustically tagged mantas to 34.  
  • Kokomo Clam Nursery – the clam nursery is looking healthier than ever with marine biologists tending to it regularly. The best news is that guests will be able to assist with the maintenance and care of these clams in their nursery when they next are able to visit.
  • Community Work – the team has been helping the neighbouring villages of Buliya, Dravuni, Narikoso, Naqare and soon to visit Nabawalu and Vabea of Ono island. They are sharing information with the communities about the conservation projects at
    Kokomo and how they can help villages achieve some of their sustainable Individual Village Development Plan (IVDP) goals.  
  • Kokomo Mangrove Reforestation Project – the team completed a visit to Narikoso where they transplanted 400 mangroves into their tidal shores.
  • Kokomo Coral Restoration Project – the team installed three new table nurseries to the Kokomo Coral Nursery.  These nurseries will house over 700 specially selected heat resilient corals for 6-9 months before being transplanted on to the house reef. Guests can assist with the maintenance and monitoring of these corals and the other 800 individuals corals already in the nursery when they next return.

Rise Beyond the Reef shows new way to support struggling tourism

Fiji

Rise Beyond the Reef was highlighted by Forbes as one of the leading non-profit organisations finding creative ways to support communities in remote destinations, especially when people are unable to travel there.

They are focused on partnering with rural areas struck hardest by the economic impacts through working with them to create artisan products
that showcase their indigenous community and cultures, which people around the world can purchase.

Just recently, Rise Beyond the Reef launched their Australian store!

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort being innovative and having fun!

Fiji

The Resort has initiated a monthly “Beach, Beats and Eats” festival where they provide the location (Beach), local artists then perform (Beats) and they breakaway from regular resort fare with themed food stalls (Eats).

The concept has been very well received so far, with the August event selling out, and will continue into 2021. Every month has a different theme and culinary inspiration. Themes thus far have included “A Touch of Latin” and September’s is “Oktoberfest”.

The resort is also developing new business models, such as revised MICE workflows. They are finalising a “virtual” site inspection for trade partners to visit the Resort via cyberspace.

Nanuku Auberge give gifts that keep on giving!

Fiji

Nanuku has launched its “remote with Auberge” initiative, where guest can select packages that allow them to work, learn and play at Nanuku.

During the pandemic, Nanuku has also opened its doors to local hospitality students wishing to receive complimentary training with them during this time.

The Westin Denarau donates big with Solia Lesu initiative

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The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa donated over 6,000 pieces of linens to the Lautoka Hospital as part of the “Solia Lesu” by Marriott foundation initiative to assist associates and local community affected by COVID-19, truly embracing Fiji’s Bula Spirit.

Six Senses Fiji employees cooking up treats for locals

Fiji

Local Fijians have found hope with the opening of a new flea market in the Nadi area. The VotCity Market opened in May and has given Fijians, who have lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic, a chance to make a living by selling food, beverage, clothes and more. 

Six Senses Fiji host, Ravishek (Purchasing Coordinator) has embraced the opportunity that the VotCity Market brings, by setting up a charity stall along with a few friends. The group have been getting their chef hats on to prepare wonderful Fijian-Indian dishes to sell at the market, with all the proceeds then being used to purchase basic necessities for local communities and families in need during this time. Their motto: eat local, support local!

Castaway Island visited by their marine friends

Fiji

It was a Thursday evening on the 20th of August, 2020, where a group of contracted construction workers spotted 77 hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings crawling on the beach, which for many was the first time ever seeing a turtle.

Qalito Island has always been the confirmed foraging grounds of sea turtles and never has been in more than 10 years for sea turtle hatchlings to be sighted on the island. The 77 hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings were assessed
based on their health conditions by Koli (Environment Officer) before they were released back into the wild by hosts and guests.

A few days later two visiting Humpback Whales swam past the island much to the delight of guests, as these visitors are not common in the Mamanuca
Islands.

Volivoli represents Fiji for Dive Travel Awards

Fiji

Volivoli Beach Resort is the only Fijian property in the final list of top 25 destinations for Dive Magazine’s Dive Travel Awards!

Voting is open to the public until October – and you can vote here.

Tropica may be closed for now, but it hasn’t forgotten about you!

While Tropica Island Resort, an adult’s only boutique resort in the Mamanuca Islands, has recently announced it will temporarily close until April next year, they have not forgotten about you!

They have created a “What We’ve Been Up To” video for anyone needing a virtual hit of their tropical paradise.

Click here for more information.