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Staff at a Fiji island resort serenade and greet guests as they come ashore.

The ‘Bula Spirit’ is a smart catch phrase developed by Fiji’s tourism players to describe the sentiment that endears Fiji to the visitor.

The word ‘bula’ is essentially a greeting in the native Fijian language to mean ‘hello’. But to the people of this country, it means a whole lot more than just a greeting. It conveys with it that sense of warmth, affection and community, caring spirit that makes Fiji what it is … a mix of diverse cultures intermingling in ways that are special, and, perhaps even rare.

It couldn’t have been a smarter idea than for Fiji’s tourism leaders to launch the ‘Bula Spirit’ two years ago, as a theme that would convey to the country’s tourism workers how visitors to Fiji should remember the country.

A description of the theme at its launching read: “A commitment to make that extra effort to ensure that the visitor enjoys the very best in hospitality , warm thoughtful service and the kindness that has made Fiji special among destinations in the world”.

“The ‘Bula spirit’ is traditionally one of Fiji’s most endearing qualities,” Tourism Fiji CEO, Josefa Tuamoto says.

Which is why, following on from the national launch in Fiji in 2007, Tourism Fiji recently carried out a television campaign in New Zealand to re-connect New Zealanders with the Fijian people and their uniquely famous ‘Bula spirit’.

And during a visit to Auckland, New Zealand at the end of June, Tuamoto took the opportunity to launch the national tourist office’s newest trade DVD which has footage based on Tourism Fiji’s recent TV campaign in Kiwi land.

“The ‘Bula spirit’ … is what sets us apart from the rest of the world and is one of the main reasons why Kiwis have traveled to the destination for more than 40 years,” he says.

Tuamoto also thanked key members of the New Zealand travel industry for their ongoing efforts in helping to promote Fiji as a destination.

“Our Kiwi numbers are coming back and we are confident that with the continued efforts of our New Zealand industry colleagues, particularly the airlines and wholesalers, we will reach our target of 120,000 Kiwi visitors within the next two years.”

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