ONE of the world's most celebrated photographers is in the country.
Steve McCurry is on a 10-day tour of Fiji as part of an initiative by Tourism Fiji and the Ministry of Tourism to rebrand Fiji as an ideal tourist destination.
He is best known for his work with National Geographic Magazine and for taking some of the most iconic pictures of the modern age, including the now infamous "The Afghan Girl".
The picture of Sharbat Gula, who was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed, became the cover of National Geographic Magazine's June 1985 issue.
Mr McCurry said this was the first time he was in Fiji and looked forward to travelling to different parts of the country.
"This country is famous and has a great ring to it. Everybody I know wants to go to Fiji," Mr McCurry said.
"You have the best of all things, the friendly people, the climate and the hotels and that's something that really is great about the place.
"Our mission is really to try and show not only what the country looks like but how it feels.
"We want to show the emotional component as well and its warmth instead of the postcard view because people would want to know what it looks like but they also want the poetry of the place and the mood.
"We are going to be travelling around, seeing various places to get the kind of a representative look of the country."
Mr McCurry has been recognised with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first-prize awards from the World Press Photo contest.
Tourism permanent secretary Elizabeth Powell said they were delighted to have Mr McCurry on board to re-introduce Tourism Fiji and Fiji as a whole to the world.
"This is an event that has taken us about a year and a half to get to," she said.
"Tourism Fiji team has been on a journey for about 18 months where they have embarked on a journey to re-brand Tourism Fiji.
"We came up with a set of distribution channels that will be launched in about a month or so.
"We are going to be rolling out to the people of Fiji what it is that Tourism Fiji is going to be doing for our future. And that involves a brand book, we will be re-branding our country."