Reporter: Jyoti Pratibha, Fiji Sun, 15 Feb 2014.
Despite having faced a challenging 2013, Port Denarau Marina has been shortlisted as one of the finalists in the 2013 AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards.
Port Denarau Marina has been selected in the Service and Support to the Industry category.
The gala awards function will be held on next Friday at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island.
Port Denarau Marina managing director Nigel Skeggs said the management and staff are very excited about being nominated again in this tourism awards.
“2013 was a very difficult year for us,” he said.
“We rebuilt the marina post cyclone while still remaining fully-operational to ensure minimal disruption to the tourism industry and the operations of our customers.
“We are very proud of what we achieved in a very short time period and as a result have significantly improved facilities to accommodate the needs of our customers.”
With a number of industry-related events coming up this year, Mr Skeggs is confident for a better year.
“2014 is looking like a very good year for the marina with a good number of pre-bookings for visiting yachts and Super Yachts,” he said.
“We also have a lot of events planned which includes the Jazz and Blues Festival and Fiji Tourism Expo in May, the ANZ Sail Fiji Auckland to Denarau Yacht Race in June and the Denarau Boat and Leisure show in August.”
Patrons can expect further improvements to the general appearance of the marina and the construction of the long awaited Yacht Club.
Mr Skeggs said the Yacht Club will be the jewel in the crown of the marina giving customers and the general public a venue for water sports, functions and community involvement.
“Total investment in this facility on opening will be in excess of $3.5 million and we hope that it will be a landmark feature for Denarau and Fiji,” he said.
“We will also be working hard on the ground works for other major developments beyond 2014 which will be announced in due course.”
Mr Skeggs stressed one of the struggles of the marina was making return on investment.
“As management I have to acknowledge the commitment and support of our board who have continued to invest in Fiji’s infrastructure,” he said.
“This is despite being unable to make a profit let alone return on investment because of outside forces beyond our control.
“We hope to see the regulation on our pricing and the way we do business start to ease as we move forward in recognition of our contribution and commitment to Fiji.”
In 2013, the Port Denarau Marina was runner up in the Australian International Marina of the Year Awards coming in behind the eventual winner, Marina at Keppel Bay in Singapore.