In May this year, Andy Matthews, Rayburn Tours’ Ski & Sports Tour Co-ordinator, was lucky enough to visit Fiji and Australia on a 2 week inspection visit with the overall aim to put together the ultimate itinerary. Here is part one of Andy’s adventure, in his own words…
In May I was given the amazing opportunity to visit Fiji and Australia on a 2 week inspection visit – not too shabby! The primary aim: to attend the Fiji Travel Expo in Denerau where the island’s travel industry come together to promote everything from hotels to river safaris. For me, this was an incredible opportunity to explore touring options to the South Pacific in order to piece together the ultimate itinerary for schools looking for an extra special trip abroad.
My time in Fiji was truly incredible – what a fantastic, idyllic and happy place to be! Despite recent natural disasters during the wet season including tropical cyclone Winston, the Fijians as a nation remain strong, defiant and remarkably enthusiastic. Every journey is met with cries of BULA, friendly welcomes and traditional music all symbolic of the culture and happiness that is spread across the island.
Due to Fiji’s recent success in rugby 7’s, the sport is played all over the island with Ben Ryan, current Fiji sevens Head Coach, a national hero! For the ultimate rugby experience, Fiji has it all to offer. Aside from Rugby, all schools in Fiji celebrate sports including netball, soccer and athletics, often coming together to compete at a good level.
During my experience, I had the opportunity to go zip lining, white water rafting and island hopping, each activity as unique as the next. For me, the ultimate highlight was a chance to go inland to one of the many villages of Fiji to meet the local people. Meeting these local communities living together, hunting together and learning together is such an inspiring experience. I can only imagine what an experience this would be for a UK student: learning to cook on an open fire, learn about foreign culture and experiencing the warmth and hospitality unique to the island’s people. As the Prime Minister states, tropical cyclone Winstone for all its destruction, failed to wipe the smiles off the faces of the Fijian people. Here, the Prime Minister of Fiji opens the Fiji Tourism Expo with an inspiring speech:
Over the 3 day Fiji Tourism Expo is Denerau, over 100 exhibitors and 150 buyers came together to meet and discuss all that Fiji has to offer. My objective: to discover the best tour options to create the ultimate itinerary, showcasing the best of Fiji and the surrounding islands to visiting UK schools. It’s safe to say the event was a huge success, all down to the hard work and effort afforded by Tourism Fiji and its supporting sponsors.
Time up in Fiji and a short 4 hour flight to Sydney awaits…