2018 Fiji International to capture key markets

Update: 4:47PM THE Fiji International will return to the Pacific for its fifth staging at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course this year.

The event will be tri-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, the European Tour and the Asian Tour.

As part of the tri-sanctioning agreement, the Fiji International will not compete with any other tournaments on the three tours in the Asia-Pacific region during the first week in August.

With a key strategic focus to leverage the tournament to build awareness and grow golf tourism from key Asian markets, the stand alone date provides the best opportunity to attract key Asian players and media to attend the event.

“The Fiji International has showcased Fiji’s capability to host international sporting events, and more specifically grow golf as a niche tourism product,” Fiji’s Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya was quoted saying in a statement released by PGA Media.

“We are thrilled to once again partner in this tri-sanctioned event and we trust that the event will secure high profile golfers from Asia and the rest of the world,” Mr Koya said.

PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman said scheduling a date on the busy global golf calendars always presented a challenge.

“We are confident that with the support of our sanctioning partners, the prominent August date represents a great opportunity for increased interest and exposure,” Mr Kirkman said.

“The 2017 event resulted in over 20 hours of global broadcast vision, which advertised Fiji to the world and encouraged more golf fans to visit Fiji on their next golfing holiday. We look forward to building on this in 2018.”

European Tour chief operating officer Keith Waters said: “We are delighted that the Fiji International returns to the European Tour’s international schedule for the third consecutive year.”

“Our relationship with both the PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour continues to go from strength-to-strength through our Strategic Alliances, and we look forward to returning to Natadola Bay Golf Course and the beautiful surroundings of Fiji, for what I am sure will be another successful event in 2018,” Mr Waters said.

The PGA of Australia, in partnership with Sports & Entertainment Limited (SEL), will continue to further develop and evolve the Fiji International to ensure it continues its status as a leading tournament in the Australasian region.

The Fiji International will be played at Nadatola from August 2-5.

Since its inaugural staging back in 2014, it has attracted some of the world’s best golfers, including Fijian hero and three time major champion Vijay Singh, 2017 champion Jason Norris, 2016 champion Brandt Snedeker, 2015 champion Matt Kuchar, 2014 champion Steven Jeffress, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley, Nick Price, Robert Allenby, Heath Slocum, Liang Wenchong, and Anirban Lahiri.

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