THE commitment to shark conservation of one of the country's most popular family retreats, combined with the inaugural participation of travel agents from Asian nations, will be the highlights of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association's 10th Dive Expo on Friday.
Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa on the Coral Coast is gearing up to host the event and FHTA chief executive officer Michael Wong highlighted the resort's commitment to shark conservation as more than appropriate for hosting the biggest date on the dive tourism calendar.
"This is the first time that Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa is hosting this event," Mr Wong said.
"It is very appropriate that this event is held here because the Shangri-La's chain has made a corporate decision to stop serving shark fin soup or include other shark products in their menus," he said.
Mr Wong said the inclusion of travel agents from Asian countries for the first time was also a very positive sign.
"Traditionally, we have entertained agents from the Western World like Canada, USA, NZ and Australia but now welcome Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and India," he said.
"This year, a record number of agents from China and India will be present at the Dive Expo.
"This bodes well for a niche market in these emerging markets," he added.
Mr Wong lauded the continuing efforts of Tourism Fiji, Air Pacific, Rosie Holidays and other organisations in promoting Fiji.
He thanked sponsors for Dive Expo 2012 - Marsh Limited, PADI, SPLASH, Air Technology and Coral Reef Alliance.