By Donna Parkin
Outrigger on the Lagoon · Fiji has launched its first public community tourism project, underlining the company’s global commitment to provide a deeply engaging hotel experience for its guests.
The initiative involves the building of a large Bure or traditional meeting hall at Conua School in the Sigatoka Valley, an example of Outrigger Resorts’ dedicated commitment to the local culture and communities.
The project will commence on October 1, 2014, and when completed, the building will be the centrepiece of the village and have the capacity to accommodate over 100 people for both school and village meetings and community events.
The project, is being driven by Chairman of the Coral Coast Hotels Association and Outrigger Resorts Area General Manager Peter Hopgood.
Peter said he anticipated construction would take approximately 12 to 18 months and be undertaken with the assistance and support of guests staying at the resort.
“This community tourism project will enable guests to volunteer their time over one or two days during their holiday to assist the resort’s engineering team with all aspects of the construction phase from basic labour work to more skilled trades.
“When guests participate in the project, they will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Fiji community by assisting with building this Bure.
“They will also have time to interact with the local school children, share a bowl of kava with the local villagers and complete the day with a visit to one of Fiji’s most prestigious cultural sites, Tavuni Hill Fort.’’
Peter said the project is a “win, win, win” for all involved.
“We hope that our guests will experience the passion we feel for this project and take up a unique opportunity to give something back to the local community.
“I’m certain this engagement will leave them with a sense of satisfaction and participation and add another level of enjoyment to their holiday.
“Outrigger on the Lagoon · Fiji enjoys a high return rate among its guests and once the bure is completed, they will be able to visit the school on subsequent holidays and see the results of their work and the smiles on the faces of the local people,’’ he said.