Margaret Wise, Fiji Times Online, Monday, July 03, 2017

Foodies in the courtyard. Picture: SUPPLIED
Foodies in the courtyard. Picture: SUPPLIED

IF niche markets are about making your mark, then The Fiji Orchid’s Farm to Fork tour is well on its way to establishing itself as a business known for covering all its bases.

The tour, which promotes food tourism and touches on the different aspects of Fiji’s food culture, involves a hour-long immersion into the intricacies of growing sugar cane, and the processing of raw sugar through to the making of Fiji rum at the distillery in Lautoka.

This interaction is followed by a practical introduction to another local culinary gem, the coconut.

Those on tour also indulge in a demonstration where coconut milk is extracted from freshly grated coconut which is then used in Fiji rum cocktails that are sampled by the “foodies”.

The most recent foodies on tour was organised by Nourish Magazine of New Zealand in conjunction with Destination Fiji.

Nourish Magazine ran an advertisement looking for interested food lovers who were keen to explore the food culture in Fiji. They got up to 10 participants from all over New Zealand who flew to Fiji for a week-long stay.

The tour also involved a walk through the plantation set up by the staff of The Fiji Orchid at Saweni, lautoka, where they were practising the “farm to fork” theme by planting a variety of vegetables to be harvested and prepared for the meals served in Raymonds Restaurant.

The Fiji Orchid is a small luxury boutique hotel and specialises in small, intimate gatherings of up to 50 guests. Resort director, Jenny Leewai Bourke said she was extremely proud of the achievement of her team.

“You can travel the world over and stay in the most luxurious hotels, but a meal cooked from the heart and with home grown vegetables is one you will never forget,” she said.

TALEBULA KATE, Fiji Times Online, Monday, July 03, 2017

Update: 5:55PM ONLINE complaints on social media platforms and review sites can have a negative impact on consumers’ evaluations.

Postgraduate students Karishma Sharma and Mani Mate. Picture: SUPPLIED
Postgraduate students Karishma Sharma and Mani Mate. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mani Mate a postgraduate student at the University of the South Pacific (USP) argued this at the recent School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) research colloquium at USP.

The research colloquium brought together various tourism stakeholders to discuss three ongoing postgraduate research projects in this context.

Mr Mate who worked in the hotel industry in the Cook Islands for over ten years in his presentation examined how Aitutaki hotel managers respond to negative online reviews, particularly on TripAdvisor.

Another presenter Karishma Sharma has worked in various positions in hospitality, design, marketing, and customer relations in both Fiji and Australia over the past decade and currently works as teaching assistant at STHM.

Ms Sharma’s research titled “An investigation of social media marketing performance of Fiji’s hotel industry” evaluates the marketing performance of 105 hotels in Fiji on various social media sites, according to the Digital Marketing Framework.

In her presentation, she identified the major problems regarding the social media marketing efforts of hotels, the implications behind these problems and provided recommendations for improvement accordingly.