While New Zealanders are all loving exploring their backyard, it’s hard not to let thoughts stray to when the borders reopen and we can visit our beloved Pacific Islands again. The first place on many New Zealanders’ minds will definitely be Fiji. The ease of holidaying, the beauty of the islands and ‘Bula Spirit’ are a huge feature of Kiwis’ winter escapes and have been sorely missed in these no-travel times.
Fiji is gearing up too – they’ve missed welcoming us to their beautiful shores so have been preparing for the day those flights finally touch down and they can welcome New Zealanders back once again. There’s no better place to put the past and Covid behind us – as anyone who’s been there knows, stress simply does not exist as soon as your feet touch Fijian sand.
It’s often been said that Fiji is a destination where happiness finds you. Add that to a convenient location and short flight time, unparalleled warm hospitality and diversity (333 islands means you’ll definitely find something that suits you) and it’s a no brainer that it will be the first destination on so many Kiwis’ minds when that glorious booking opportunity finally presents itself.
In a time where happiness seems hard to find with all that is going on in the world, Fiji can’t wait to welcome Kiwis back with their trademark ‘Bula Spirit’. To support this, Fiji has launched a nationwide commitment to enhance protection for both visitors and locals alike. They launched the Care Fiji Commitment Programme in October 2020 to provide extensive training to Fiji’s travel industry on Covid-19 best-practices and the programme has received international recognition by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Whether you’re looking for a child-free luxury experience or somewhere the whole family can enjoy, Fiji has you covered. And many resorts have used the tourist-free time to enhance their experiences even further. For example, Likuliku Lagoon Resort has spent the last year re-modelling their 45 traditionally designed and styled luxury bures.
It’s pretty obvious their ten spacious over-water bures will be in hot demand when the borders open – singles and couples with no kids looking for a reprieve from the year that’s been and parents looking for a short break from their darling offspring will be clambering to book.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort is incredibly popular because of its ability to provide more luxury without compromising integrity to Fijian cultural values, traditional designs and architecture. Set on a vibrant fringing reef, natural ocean lagoon and a protected marine sanctuary, brought to life by the eternal warmth of the local Fijian people it’s not hard to see why it’s a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World (NGULW) – the first and only one in Fiji and one of only two in the Pacific.
For those looking for a family friendly luxury experience, it’s hard to go past Kokomo Private Island. With a backdrop of the spectacular Great Astrolabe Reef, this all-inclusive luxury gem has been spending their downtime further enhancing their offerings. They have added new beachfront bures and hilltop residences with stunning views and have expanded their focus on wellness home-to-home holidays and hyper personalised itineraries.
Kids are well occupied with motorised water sports, paddle boarding, sailing, diving, waterfall hikes, manta ray swims, coral reef restoration, fishing and their Kids and Teens Clubs. Time has also been put into their sustainability-driven culinary program, including an impressive 5.5 acre farm with a wide variety of local vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and exotic fruits, hydroponics garden and state-of-the-art Chef’s Kitchen.
There have also been further forays into regenerative tourism with Kokomo joining Regenerative Resorts––a consortia of leading and independently owned eco-luxury hotels & resorts seeking to advance crowd-free, conscious, and planet-friendly travel habits. While it’s been so tough for both Fijians and New Zealanders in this time of no travel, it’s clear that the Fiji we will be returning to is going to be even more incredible than the one we last experienced.
With renovated properties, new experiences and an even bigger focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism, it’s possible that our favourite Pacific Islands and their magical ‘Bula Spirit’ just got even better.
Source : 2021 Stuff Limited, Stuff.co.nz, 14th March 2021