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Air Pacific & Colonial Funding F$73.5 million
Novotel Resort on Denarau Island in Fiji


18 February 2004: 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 - the largest hotel group in the Asia Pacific region - 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. Additional air capacity to Fiji is expected to further increase inbound tourism and conference business.

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, a fully 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.

The hotel is being designed with distinctive Fijian features. It will comprise 300 rooms and suites, two restaurants and two bars, a pool bar with pizza outlet, coffee shop, the largest conference facilities in Fiji, a lagoon-style freeform pool, a full-service day spa, Dolfi Kids Club, retail outlets plus a wedding chapel for the perfect nuptials. Guests will be able to fully utilise the adjacent world-class Denarau Golf & Racquet Club, which incorporates an 18-hole championship golf course and ten tennis courts.

The Novotel Denarau Island Resort will join other popular Novotel Resorts in locations such as Cairns and Twin Waters in Queensland, the Swan Valley in Perth, Coffs Harbour in NSW, the Barossa Valley in South Australia, Bali and Lombok in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand and Noumea in New Caledonia. The Novotel Denarau Island Resort will join a global Novotel network of more than 370 hotels and resorts, including over 65 in the Asia Pacific region.

Air Pacific - which is 51% owned by the Government of Fiji and 46% owned by Qantas - is anticipating considerable growth in the market to Fiji, prompting the need for additional international-standard resort accommodation. The commencement of the project follows the recent arrival of two new 747-400 planes to Air Pacific and a US$650m fleet upgrade that will see the addition of new Airbuses over the next two years. The new 747-400s are operating daily services to Sydney and four-times weekly to Los Angeles. Air Pacific has approximately 1.2million seats annually.

Commenting on the signing of the long-term agreement, Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, David Baffsky, AO, said that the development of the resort was a testament to the vision and determination of Air Pacific and Colonial.

"We have worked closely with Air Pacific and Colonial for some time and as the largest operator in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region, a quality resort in Fiji has been a priority of Accor," he said.

"Fiji is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Australian and New Zealand travellers, and with the Novotel Resort brand so well-established and popular, we anticipate the resort will be an outstanding success.

"Analysis of the Fijian market has highlighted that the overwhelming growth market is in the 4-star 'affordable quality' sector, which the Novotel brand leads. Novotel is expanding rapidly in the region - with new Novotels in Australia, Thailand, China and Japan - and with Novotel's presence now in 63 countries, Accor will be able to use this network to promote additional travel to Fiji."

Air Pacific Chairman, Gerald Barrack, welcomed the agreement with Colonial and Accor, saying the companies enjoyed a number of synergies.

"Air Pacific, Colonial and Accor have strong brands, a firm foothold in the leisure and conference markets, financial and marketing strength, and a commitment to development of tourism in the region," said Mr Barrack.

"We have recently undertaken one of the largest investment and modernisation programmes in the history of Air Pacific, and we now have the capacity to significantly increase visitor numbers to the destination. To complement this, we have required additional quality accommodation in the mid-market, and Novotel is the perfect brand to meet this objective."

Accor is the largest hotel and tourism company in the world. The company operates nearly 4000 hotels and resorts in 90 countries under brands that include Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis. Accor also has significant interests in casinos, convention centres, travel agencies and other travel services.


Peter Hook
General Manager Communication
Accor Asia Pacific
Accor Asia Pacific , MLC Centre, Level 47
19-29 Martin Place
Phone: 61 (2) 9367 0860

Also See: Air Pacific Developing 300 Room Resort on Denerau Island, Fiji / Jan 2000
Coral Coast Properties Developing a 75 room Luxury Resort in Viti Levu, Fiji; To Be Managed by Rosewood / April 2002

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