A few years ago I spent two amazing weeks in Fiji with my family – and I fell in love.
With the country’s postcard-perfect beaches and tropical rainforests. With its food and its culture. But most of all, with its beautiful, beautiful people.
Fiji has a reputation for being one of the friendliest and most welcoming places on Earth – and for good reason. I’ve travelled around the world, and while every country has its own charms, very few nations have even come close to the natural warmth and hospitality of the Fijian people.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Fiji Airways.
Every other person you pass seems to greet you with a gleeful ‘Bula!’ as if you were lifelong friends and my favourite memory from the trip was having a water fight with a group of cheeky village children as we passed them on a beach one morning.
My mother even became pen pals with a lady who worked at the resort we stayed at for a few days after they bonded over their mutual love of flowers.
And when I was struck down by a nasty flu, the doctor I saw seemed so genuinely concerned that I remember being really touched. He even took the time during the consultation to chat about my life and career and it was as if I was having a catch up with a favourite uncle – totally different from the clinical, rushed appointments you get back home.
In fact, being in Fiji was like being among family. It really was like a home away from home. And it’s the sort of place that you have to experience for yourself to really appreciate how special it is.
It’s only fitting, then, that Fiji Airways, Fiji’s national airline, has launched a new campaign to showcase that famous Fijian hospitality that happens the minute you step on board. The campaign is called Welcome To Our Home, and the idea behind it is simple: visitors are treated as extended family, not tourists, from the moment they get on the plane and are greeted with a warm ‘Bula!’
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Stefan Pichler says: “Treating visitors like family is an inherent quality of Fijians. Our people at Fiji Airways naturally extend this same courtesy to all our guests on board. They are far more than just a seat number, they are part of our extended Fijian family.”