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NEWS & ARTICLES Welcome to Pacific Palm Marina Resort Fiji

Chinese hotels in the pipeline

Interim Commerce Minister Taito Waradi believes millions of Chinese nationals will be lured to our shores as soon as major Chinese hotel chains extend business here. Speaking at the China-Fiji Trade and Investment seminar in Suva yesterday, Mr Waradi said the flow of the more than 34 million Chinese tourists could be realised when Chinese hotel chains are built here and packaged as such.

He said two major hotel projects owned by Chinese nationals - Bula Vinaka Fiji Hotel and SSS International Limited - were in pipeline, awaiting implementation.

A delegation led by chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Zhang Wei, is i Fiji exploring trade opportunities.

Mr Waradi said there was scope for growing Fiji-China bilateral relations through trade, investment, education, sports and cultural exchange and seizing these opportunities will ultimately improve the stantard of living for our people. He said while Fiji;s balance of trade with China has been in China's favour. Fiji's exports to China have grown by more than 300 per cent over the period 2001-2006.

China's ambassador to Fiji Jinbiao Cai said since the establishment of the relation in 1975, the bilateral trade was about $F3.1m.

Fiji Islands Trade Investment Bureau board chairman Sir James Ah Koy said Fiji was widening its bilateral relations and seeking fresh trade sources, investment capital and developmental support from other countries as part of its Look North Policy.

He said the increased participation of Chinese investors and businesses in Fiji would enable private sector businesses to look at ways of realising the prospects for further Fiji/China co-operation and engagement. Especially in promoting investments and business activities between out two counties

Record $48 billion of hotel sales predicted by year-end 2007

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels estimates that $48 billion worth of U.S. hotel sales could be completed by the end of 2007.  This represents the fourth consecutive year of record volume, and a 37% lift on last year's record-breaking figure of $35 billion, proving that investors' appetite for the hotel sector remains at an unprecedented high level.

"U.S. hotel deal activity to June has already reached $32 billion, higher than we initially predicted. This represents more than half of the global volume of $56 billion for the same period," said Kristina Paider, senior vice president of research and marketing for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. "One half of the sales of this period were driven by REITs being taken private, and another third was private equity groups buying up real estate as well as management and brands, as seen with Blackstone's recent purchase of Hilton Hotels Corporation."

The 14th edition of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey ("HISS") highlights investors' ongoing enthusiasm for the hotel sector.  It shows that Americas' buyers outnumber sellers by 5:2.  Investors indicated upscale hotels as their preferred asset type in 26 of the 29 surveyed markets. The survey also shows that 18.5% of respondents are now expecting to build hotel assets, indicating that investors are being pushed to consider development due to the shortage of available investment stock. 

"With continued confidence in trading performance we are expecting balanced growth going forward.  Our survey results demonstrate that yields are still tightening and investors' expectations for leveraged IRRs have tapered slightly as interest rates rise due to the recent credit crunch.  While the credit markets are showing signs of weakness, the strength of the economy, resulting in increased business and leisure travel, combined with constrained supply will continue to create an attractive investment environment," said Arthur Adler, managing director and CEO-Americas for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

Once again, revenue gains overcome expense growth
Wednesday Aug 22, 07 | 1:59 am

A familiar pattern repeated itself in 2006 - strong gains in hotel revenues surpassed significant expense growth, which resulted in double-digit increases in unit level hotel profits. In 2006, the average hotel manager in our Trends in the Hotel Industry survey achieved a 13.3 percent gain in operating profits , the third consecutive year of bottom-line increases in excess of ten percent. Favorable supply / demand conditions allowed these operators to enjoy an 8.2 percent jump in revenues for the year. However, management continued to struggle with burgeoning costs. Hotel operating expenses grew 6.3 percent in 2006, the third consecutive year of expense growth nearly twice the pace of inflation.

These finding are based on the 2007 edition of Trends in the Hotel Industry. To monitor lodging industry revenues, expense, and profits, PKF Consulting has collected and analyzed the operating statements of thousands of hotels in the U.S. since 1936.

ADR Drives Revenue
With most markets achieving occupancy levels at or above their long term average, it was expected that ADR growth would begin to dominate revenue growth. Such was the case in 2006.

An 8.3 percent gain in average room rates (ADR) was the main driver of the 8.2 percent increase in total revenue for the properties in the Trends survey. The 8.3 percent growth rate was the strongest annual increase in ADR observed since 1996. Concurrently, occupancy rose just 0.4 percent. The net result was an 8.8 percent gain in rooms revenue, or RevPAR.

In 2006, hotels also enjoyed the benefit of increased revenue from sources other than the rental of guest rooms. Food and beverage revenues grew 7.1 percent, while sales in other operated departments (gift shop, golf, spa, movies, parking etc...) increased 5.9 percen

Arabs eye Fiji: Minister

Potential investors in Dubai and neighbouring cities in the United Arab Emirates are interested in Fiji, says Interim Minister for Tourism, Bernadatte Rounds-Ganilau.

Mrs Round-Ganilau was in Dubai and Islamabad in Pakistan last week to attend the world tourism meeting, where she met with potential investors.

"I met with a company who wanted to start actual direct travel to Fiji, "Mrs Round-Ganilau said.
"They wanted to come here and wanted to look at whole lot of potential areas and destination in Fiji,"she said.

Mrs Round-Ganilau said people in Dubai already knew about Fiji through Sevens Rugby. She said is was inspiring to see investors interested in Fiji.

Fiji Visitors Bureau chief executive officer Villiame Gavoka said earlier the industry was expected to gave about 16,000 rooms by 2016 with an estimated $6billion worth of tourism projects.

He said this translated to at least 1.2 million tourists a year by 2016, up from 514,000 in 2007. "All these phenomenal growth would only be realised through more investments in hotels and the likes."

Source: The Fiji Times

Gillier Group starts tourism projects
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

With the tourism industry a major contributor to the national economy, plans are underway for two more major developments.

The Gillier Group, a company that specialises in hotel, resort and residential projects, has started on two tourism projects geared to rake in more foreign dollars.

The Pacific Palm Project includes the development of the Pacific Palm Marina Resort at Pacific Harbour and the Nadi Integrated Resort Development Project to build what will be known as the Blue Island Resort.

Gillier Group executive chairman, Bruno Gillier, said both the projects would cost over F$3.4 billion.

Mr Gillier said the Pacific Palm Project would have 9 stages that involves pre-selling of bure, over-water bungalows, hotel rooms, freehold lots and mansions. With development taking place on 219 acres of freehold land, Mr Gillier said they had plans to have four international hotels on the Pacific Palm Project.

He said stages 1 and 2 had been sold. The two hotels would be the Le Royal Meridien and the Rydges Hotels and Resorts.

Le Meridien, based in London, England, is a global hotel chain, a part of Starwood Resorts & Hotels Worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 120 luxury upscale hotels in over 50 countries.

The Rydges Hotels & Resorts is an Australian owned hotel chain with over 30 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

He said the Accor and Hilton hotels had yet to confirm participation in the project.

The Pacific Palm resorts would have a 1,000-seat convention centre catering for small, medium and corporate clientele and will be available for meetings, functions, as well as executive boardrooms, business centre and serviced offices.

He said it could also be used as a cinema. There would be shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, children's fun park and many other facilities.

FIJI: Nausori Airport Plans Extension
Friday: August 18, 2006

(Fiji Times) – Extension work on the Nausori airport's runway will start soon to allow bigger aircraft to land, reports the Fiji Times Online.

This will be complimented by the construction of a new terminal at Nausori airport, said Airports Fiji Limited chief executive Ratu Sakiusa Tuisolia.

He said the works were scheduled to start in December with the first project earmarked as the extension of the runway to about 345 metres.

"That will allow for unrestricted access of a plane like the Boeing 737-800," he said. "We can't do it at the moment because the runway is short."

Ratu Sakiusa said the project would be followed by the building of a new terminal at Nausori airport, which was expected to start in May 2007.

He said the cost of both projects was expected to be about $40million.

For Full Story visit - www.fijitimes.com.fj/story.aspx?id=46825

Nausori Airport Expands for Internation Flights
August 26, 2006

The Nausori Airport approximately twenty kilometres from Suva is scheduled for a forty million on dollar facelift. This will help increase the number of international flights to the airport. This will all start in December 2006 with the lengthening of the runways for that Air Pacific, Air New Zealand can land their larger aircraft. This should increase the number of flights to Suva.

A new terminal will also be built at the airport. These improvements will make Nausori Airport more of a destination for travellers looking to go onward, especially to the Savusavu and Taveuni.

Source: fijitravelnews.com

Nausori Airport Expansion Coming
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Most international flights to Fiji land at Nadi International Airport on the west side of Viti Levu. Nausori Airport, 23 kilometers northeast of Suva's capital Suva, is used mostly for domestic services, although some Air Pacific flights from Auckland and Sydney do land at Nausori.

Nausori's runway is too short to receive larger aircraft like Boeing 737-800s and plans to extend it to 345 meters have been announced. Construction of a new terminal building at Nausori Airport will begin next year. These projects are expected to cost $40 million Fijian.

The announcements come after the opening earlier this month of a four-lane Rewa Bridge at Nausori financed by the European Union. More direct flights to Nausori will be welcomed by Suva-bound travelers, and the new bridge already makes getting to the airport that much easier

Source : southpacific.org

India hotel group plans Fiji foray
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Indian Hotels Company Ltd which operates the Taj brand of hotels in India has shown interest in expanding to Fiji.

In a news report early this month, the company, a part of the Tata Group, said it is looking at expansion through contract management or picking up equity in locations like China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Fiji because it believed Asia was the region of the future.

For his part, Fiji Visitors Bureau chief executive Viliame Gavoka says he is positive something is likely to happen soon on this ... more

Fiji in top five destinations
Friday, August 04, 2006

AMERICAN magazine, Modern Bride, rated Fiji one of the top five honeymoon destinations.

The Bula News, the Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau Industry Newsletter released yesterday, said the magazine has a circulation of 342,588 in the United States. The feature piece on Fiji was written by travel writer Jad Davenport ... more

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