Jo Tuomoto was the man who came to our aid in the early days when the project was being questioned online and locally in the Fijian press thanks to the infamous (within the tribe at least) Jem Report.
Jo – or Dobs as he is known to friends – was then the marketing director of Tourism Fiji. He is also cousin (of course he is) of Vorovoro’s mataqali (landowners) having come from a village up the coast from us that we pass on the Vitika. He is also neighbours to Ulai in Nadi.
We first met Jo in Mook Bar, Notting Hill, London and he then came to Vorovoro in August 2006 and endorsed the project – giving the Fiji Times the confidence to support us. He played an important part at a crucial time for us. And since then I have been taking Jo sevusevu on my exit out of Fiji to thank him for his support and share my last few bowls of kava with him, Ulai and his family before I fly home.
Jo is now the boss at Tourism Fiji (not an enviable task) and is pleased to see the devaulation of the Fijian dollar announced by the Reserve Bank this week as an incentive for visitors to come back to Fiji. Its been a tough few months- especially for the big hotels whose occupancy has been incredibly low. Jo is a big supporter of Vorovoro and also helped get the support we needed to bring the team to the UK this summer. Lets hope his current prognosis for Tourism in Fiji is right.
Article below from Fiji times —-—-—-—-——
THE devaluation of the Fiji dollar is a windfall for the tourism industry, according to Tourism Fiji. Chief executive Josefa Tuamoto said the devaluation was a major boost for the economy.
“In a nutshell, the devaluation means there has never been a better time to holiday in Fiji,” he said.
“Alike other destinations around the globe, Fiji too has felt the effects of the current economic downturn since the beginning of the year.
“Our situation was further compounded by the state of floods affecting the destination in mid-January which obviously had an impact on what traditionally is one of our strongest months of the year.
‘So the devaluation can be considered timely in many respects.” Mr Tuamoto is confident the devaluation will have immediate and very positive ramifications for the tourism industry and its overseas partners. “Our dollar has appreciated quite significantly in the last two years,” he said.
“While Fiji has always represented fantastic value to our visitors, there were some pockets within the international travel industry that had implied the destination was becoming overpriced.
“That’s is certainly not the case now as the devaluation will bring the Fiji dollar in line with the currencies in our major source markets – especially Australia and New Zealand – where we will be driving the value for money message as part of our overall marketing of the destination.”