Fiji Time: 2:25 AM on Tuesday 20 March

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Archives » Article Index

Company ahead of the rest

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, February 24, 2018

WINNERS of the 2017 Fiji Excellence in Tourism Tour and Transport Operators Award, Tour Managers Fiji has proven its ability to compete with some of Fiji's leading tourist operators.

From its humble beginnings in 2005 with a staff of only three, the company has established itself as one that can survive in a competitive and demanding field.

Tour Managers Fiji managing director Damend Gounder said they were competing against companies that had a long history in the tourism industry.

"However, I began this business with 15 years of experience in tourism and in management and that experience and relationship and the credibility I had built up within the industry laid the foundation for Tour Managers and its ensuing success," he said.

"From 2008 to 2009, we began looking at other market sources because when we began operations, source markets were primarily the United States, Australia, New Zealand and in 2007, I began to move into India.

"It was a decision that I made to move away from mainstream or traditional markets and look at niche markets. "India worked well for us and in 2009, I appointed our first staff in India.

"While we had engaged her to be based in India, she eventually went on to develop her own business and we still do business with her and this is a huge boost for us as a company because at Tour Managers, we believe in empowering our people."

He said exploring new markets has proven to be a success for the local company.

"We entered the China market from 2008 to 2009 when Fiji Airways started travelling to Hong Kong.

"We established ourselves in China in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and we added more people to our staff

"We then looked at large coach operation and introduced large coaches in 2010.

"These were coaches especially assembled for us in India and I must acknowledge the government policy on coaches and reduction on duties, it made it easier for us to import these very high-end buses.

"It was a very good piece of legislation by the Government and it is still in place. The continuous increment in tourist arrivals from countries like China, India, UK and Europe started to give us more opportunities to actually go out and work."

"In 2009, I hired one of my first employees from China and the China division grew and that is the growth market for Fiji at the moment

"We looked at the options in China because it is not an easy market and we had language barriers and their culture of doing business is very different.

"They use a lot of technology and we had to make sure we aligned ourselves and got up to their level. While all the other markets are doing well, the growth market is and will be China for the next five to 10 years.

"He said in 2011, their significant investment in six new large coaches resulted in the addition of new people to the company."

He said the company would soon mark its 10th anniversary in China.

"Our staff members are employed on a contract basis and are independent of any other companies, I have a total staff of four in China, I have recently appointed a person in Japan and one in India.

"They all work directly with us on basis of supplying services on sales and marketing and reservations."

He said the company had been able to venture into other markets within the industry.

"From 2014 to 2015 we took over Yatule Resort, got it renovated, it was part of FNPF assets so we have got it on a lease basis. That marked the entry of Tour Managers into the resort business and the other company that I have got is Paradise Brides Limited - one of Fiji's largest wedding companies

"We do weddings at all major resorts and properties and we are one of Fiji's leading wedding planners and event companies within the tourism industry.

"In 2016 we opened a very modern Fijian-inspired contemporary-designed arrivals office at Nadi International Airport. It's like a Fijian home, very warm and welcoming for our people

"In 2017, we replaced all our large coaches, they are all modern and they are the best-looking coaches in town at the moment.

"We use the coaches for ourselves and they also are on a long-term contract with South Sea Cruises and we provide all their transfer facilities."

The company has about 120 staff members and a replenishment budget for its fleet between $2 million and $3m.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.65010.6311
JPY 53.241250.2412
GBP 0.35510.3471
EUR 0.40440.3924
NZD 0.69430.6613
AUD 0.64630.6213
USD 0.49840.4814



Exchange Rate updated on 19th, March, 2018

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. No desk for this girl
  2. Police appeal to livestock owners
  3. Ammunition case transferred to high court
  4. 'Teach sons respect'
  5. Tuvalu here to learn 7s
  6. Online safety
  7. Staff retention bid
  8. Saneem clarifies counting process
  9. Teachers told to keep abreast of change
  10. Taps run dry after water main bursts

Top Stories this Week

  1. Sims' 100th game Thursday (15 Mar)
  2. Men urged to marry Thursday (15 Mar)
  3. Picking up the pieces Tuesday (13 Mar)
  4. 'Forced to go' Saturday (17 Mar)
  5. Doctors speak out Sunday (18 Mar)
  6. Where are our horses Sunday (18 Mar)
  7. Baravilala's ode to Cessna victims Thursday (15 Mar)
  8. A star in the making Thursday (15 Mar)
  9. No desk for this girl Monday (19 Mar)
  10. 7s hunt Tuesday (13 Mar)