Air Pacific & Colonial fund major Fijian resort project

SUVA – Fiji's International airline, Air Pacific, and financial services group, Colonial, have joined forces to fund a F$73.5 million resort project on Denarau Island in Fiji. Accor has been appointed managers of the hotel, which will open in mid-2005 as the Novotel Denarau Island Resort. The Novotel development is the largest hotel infrastructure project in Fiji since the 2000 coup. The project was announced by the prime minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase, at a function in Suva. The announcement comes at a time when Fiji's tourism sector is experiencing a period of sustained growth, particularly from the Australian, New Zealand, American and Japanese markets. In 2003, Fiji attracted over 430,000 visitors, including 140,000 Australians (11,000 more than predicted). The Fiji Visitors Bureau is now aiming to attract 148,000 Australians in 2004 and 160,000 in 2005, and have estimated a need for 400 new rooms a year to cater for the growth in demand. The Novotel Resort is being built on Denarau Island, an integrated tourist destination, conveniently located just 20 minutes from Fiji's international airport at Nadi. The island is also a popular pre- and post-destination for travellers to the outer islands and within Viti Levu, Fiji's main island.

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