Attorney-General and Minister for Tourism Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum today presented the 2013 FIJIAN HOST of the Year award to Fiji Revenue & Customs officer Deepak Kumar.

The Attorney-General said that Mr. Kumar was selected for this honour for his superb customer service at Nadi International Airport.

“A person’s experience at the airport can set the tone for their entire visit to Fiji, and so we expect them to receive the very best levels of service from the moment they step off the plane. Mr. Kumar’s performance sets a benchmark of excellence at Nadi Airport for all frontline staff ” he said.

Mr. Kumar – previously the FIJIAN HOST of the Month recipient for October – wins a trip for two to Sydney as a guest of Fiji Airways, including accommodation for two at the Sydney Sheraton on the Park courtesy of Starwood Resorts Fiji.

Mr. Kumar will also receive a trophy from the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, at the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on 21 February.

Four other frontline staff at Nadi International Airport were also presented awards today in recognition of their hard work and superior customer service.

Outstanding service awards were presented to Viliame Waqaninavatu (Border Police) and Rusiate Waqa (AFL) for going above and beyond the call of duty by demonstrating exceptional customer service in 2013.

Also, Fane Naiqiso (Airports Fiji Limited) and Sharmila Lata (Border Police) were presented awards for FIJIAN HOSTS of the Month for November and December respectively.

The Attorney-General congratulated the winners for their efforts to enhance the airport experience for international visitors and Fijians travelling to and from ports overseas.

Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum also acknowledged the support of the tourism industry partners represented in the FIJIAN HOSTS Council and those present at the ceremony.

FIJIAN HOSTS is a programme initiated by the Ministry of Tourism to recognise the important contributions of the airport staff and to assist front liners in providing the best customer service.

With the eight airport agencies at Nadi International Airport, the Ministry of Tourism launched the FIJIAN HOSTS program in September 2012 and has since then trained approximately 350 Nadi Airport frontline team members.

Winners are selected from comment cards which are filled out by international visitors and posted in FIJIAN HOSTS kiosks that are strategically located in Nadi International Airport’s departure and arrival lounges.

Today’s event was also attended by members of the FIJIAN HOSTS Council, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Tourism, Elizabeth Powell. The other members are the CEO Fiji Airways, Stefan Pichler, Starwood’s General
Manager, Shane Cunning, the Chairman AFL, Faiz Khan and tourism industry leader Tony Whitton.

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