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Fiji Time: 5:33 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Resort plans big

Shayal Devi
Monday, December 09, 2013

AFTER suffering extensive damage in a fire late last year, the Naviti Resort in Sigatoka bounced back and successfully finished 2013 on a high.

And general manager David Woodman said they had big plans for 2014.

"Everyone is wondering when we are going to start, so we hope to start after Easter," he said.

"The owners mentioned that we might be completed in 12 months.

"What this does is it allows us to modernise whatever we put back in and replace everything that we lost in the fire but it may be in a different way or shape."

Mr Woodman said the one thing they would likely retain was the rustic Fijian appeal of the resort.

"The owners are adamant that we must retain this beautiful Fijian style so while it may be modern, it will still have a very Fijian appeal.

"Initially in January and February, which was a few months after the fire, we settled down we had an idea of what we could and couldn't do."

The fire destroyed rooms, the resort's kids club and spa facilities.

"And I think part of the problem was we still had 220 rooms operational but we didn't have the facilities to cater for them.

"We limited the rooms to satisfy the guests with the facilities that we did have."

He said while this year was not as profitable as previous years, considering the challenges, they were happy with their achievements.

One of the resorts' major strengths is the returning guests.

"Some guests have been telling me they will be back next year and they will be bringing in more guests.

"Our returning guests are predominantly from Australia but New Zealand and our local market is on par as well."

For Mr Woodman, the local market plays a critical role in the resort's operations.

"We have a strong local market and we treat them with the same importance as international markets. During our quiet months, November and February, it is the local market that gives us the support."