A TEAM of Fijian diplomats and their families expect spinoffs from their recent participation at the 10th Johannesburg Boat and Dive Show held in South Africa.
Fiji's participation follows an invitation received last year.
It was also part of the High Commission's plans to raise the country's profile and increase its presence in the minds of travellers, and those in the travel industry in South Africa and beyond.
In a government statement issued yesterday, it stated that thousands of people visited the Fiji booth during the three-day show.
People were curious about diving and surfing in Fiji, and those who had been to Fiji and even worked in the dive industry were also present.
The statement said a couple, who had been in Taveuni for a few years running the dive centre at Paradise Resort and now running dive tours to the Caribbean, spoke highly of Fiji being the best diving place in the world.
"Positive comments were also received from people about Pure Fiji products and a lot of inquiries about the boating vests produced by Performance Floatation Devices of Nabua," it stated.
The statement also noted Fiji being advertised at one of the booths by a company — SY Siren — while promoting its sailing and diving packages that included Fiji, particularly Volivoli in Rakiraki, Lomaiviti and Taveuni.
"We can confidently state that our participation was immensely successful for its primary target to inform the people about Fiji," Fiji's representative in South Africa Beniamino Salacakau said.
"In fact, it went far above our expectations. We are definite that there will be some spinoff from our participation," he said in the statement.
"We must thank those who responded positively to our request for assistance for materials for our display.
"We thank in particular those who provided prizes for our competition — Air Pacific for the two return air tickets from Hong Kong to Fiji; Uprising Resort for the two nights accommodation; and Aqua Trek for the free dives.
"We also thank Pure Fiji for the gift packs. We also thank Tourism Fiji for the support."
The mission intends to participate again next year.
The show is where a wide range of service providers, vendors of a wide range of equipment and an assortment of businesses are provided, and where water-related activities are also promoted.
Mr Salacakau was also interviewed by local media outlets and the interview will be aired on South African Television later in the year, it stated.