Whether it's due to the crystal-clear waters, luxurious resorts or slower pace of life, there's no denying that Fiji is a top destination for holidaymakers around the world. Australians are particularly smitten with the South Pacific archipelago – in fact, we accounted for more than half of Fiji's 693,000 visitors in 2014, according to figures collated by Tourism Fiji.
Attracting tourists is an important task, considering the financial impact it has on the country's economy as a whole. The World Travel and Tourism Council reported that the travel and tourism industry contributed almost $2 billion, or 37 per cent of Fiji's gross domestic product, in 2014.
Given these impressive statistics, it isn't too surprising that organisations are continually exploring channels to promote the country, engage with prospects and ultimately bring more people to Fiji. One way Tourism Fiji was able to achieve this was by exhibiting a custom-made stand at the recent Travel Expo 2016.
What was Travel Expo 2016 all about?
— HIT105 Brisbane (@hit105Brisbane) February 12, 2016
Held in 13 major cities across Australia, Travel Expo 2016 provided visitors with the opportunity to plan their next international holiday and gave exhibitors a high-profile platform to show off their products and services. Around 150 exhibitors were in attendance, with companies as diverse as Contiki, Carnival Cruise Line and This Is Africa giving attendees the chance to explore offerings from all four corners of the globe.
The turnout was impressive. Between January 17 and March 6, more then 118,000 people attended the expo – an increase of 23 per cent from 2015's iteration. More importantly, engagement levels were also high, with more than 8 in 10 (83 per cent) attendees planning to travel in the next 12 months and the event website attracting almost a million views.
Who had the best exhibition stand?
— Travel Expo (@TravelExpos) February 18, 2016
There were many beautiful exhibition stands on display throughout Travel Expo 2016 as vendors vied to give prospects the best experience possible. Competition was fierce, with Singapore Airlines' booth winning the praise of the judges in Darwin and Canberra, while Insight Vacations' stand was crowned the best in Cairns and Townsville.
However, when it came to down to it, we're proud to say that the judging panel awarded the event space we created for Tourism Fiji as the best overall booth for the entire event.
There were many factors that went into the judge's decision. Display stands were judged based on product presentation, the customer experience and how well the space reflected the organisation's overall brand. Working closely with Tourism Fiji, we were able to design and produce a truly eye-catching exhibition stand that ticked all these boxes and was a hit with both visitors and the judges. For their hard work and creativity, Tourism Fiji was awarded a space at a future expo – a prize valued at up $5,100.
The next Travel Expo is coming up soon, with events being held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne between July 31 and August 14. If you're thinking of heading overseas to escape the winter blues, be sure to head along for inspiration, practical advice and your chance to win some great prices. We can't wait to see the exhibition booths that will be on display at this next event.