SRMR - happy Bull Shark, happy customers. Great pic by Allen!
I just got my hands on this press release by Tourism Fiji.
Chinese Dub Fiji as Best Shark Diving Destination
Nadi, 08 April 2015 – Fiji’s shark dive has gained incredible momentum in the Chinese dive industry and has rightfully received the ‘Best Shark Diving Destination’ Award at the Dive Resort Travel (DRT) Expo in Shanghai.
The DRT Expo, the only professional diving exhibition in China, is an event developed for the diving industry of Shanghai and attracts exhibitors – enthusiastic diving resorts and live-aboard operators – from all over the Asia-Pacific region.
The three-day event, from 20-22 March, provided the exhibitors a chance to actively participate and exchange information pertaining specifically to the dive industry ranging from destinations to best diving techniques and equipment.
Fiji was voted as the Best Shark Diving Destination after EZDIVE Magazine carried out an analysis of its members (the Chinese divers) and Fiji came out on top. Tourism Fiji’s Marketing Manager for the Asia Market, Ms. Kathy Koyamaibole who attended the Expo and received the award on Fiji’s behalf shared, “Fiji’s shark dive was definitely ‘top of mind’ for most of the dive clubs and visitors to the expo.” Ms. Koyamaibole adds, “Receiving this award was a formalization of that. Where in the world can you dive and expect to see more than seven species of sharks in one dive while also feeding them without cages!
That’s why Fiji is no doubt the best destination to experience shark diving.”
I got to attest to Patricia that it appears that she has done her home work, and that most of what she says is correct - and yet I am irritated. It is us the dive operators, not Fiji Tourism, that have done all the hard work here on the ground, that have spent hundreds of thousands of our own money on marketing our product abroad and that have put Fiji on the Shark diving map - so why not talk to the people who walk the walk, and maybe, gasp, even do a Shark dive, the more as Pacific Harbour is a mere 30 minutes away from the Fiji Times offices, and the NGOs are based just around the corner?
It's called reporting, real journalism. Stanley used to know what that meant. This is just lazy.
Anyway, we love our Chinese customers.
To paraphrase our home page, they are neither adrenaline junkies nor shark huggers, don't know everything better and don't demand preferential treatment only because they own a big camera and have once gifted some ordinary images to a dive mag. And many of them smoke! :)
They just come to see Sharks, love our product, buy plenty of DVDs and t-shirts, and are happy to follow our instructions, and thankful that we are keeping them safe. And the extra bonus is that our Shark awareness and conservation speech during the surface interval is reaching the very people that can make a real difference once they return home!
So China, bring it on!
Fiji's Shark diving industry is welcoming you with open arms!