Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards celebrates the outstanding performance of those who have made exceptional contributions to our tourism industry.


In 1991 with the introduction of the first Tourism Week, the Fiji Visitors Bureau and the Ministry of Tourism introduced the first Excellence in Tourism Awards sponsored by the Fiji Times, there were 10 Awards Winners. The presentation was in Suva with the Awards presented by the Hon. Josevata Kamikamica. The winners were:

Visionary Award
Dick Smith

Environment & Culture
Late Ratu Leone Lesi

Hospitality & Accommodation Award
Margaret Thaggard

Food & Beverage Award
Eparama Maciu

Wine Steward of the Year Award
Mere Kasaga

Barperson of the Year Award
Emele Tubailagi

Chef of the Year Award
Raymond Lee

Honoured for his dedication to the Community
Sirilo Damudamu

Micellaneous Award
Alivereti Bogiva

Jointly Honoured in Sports
John May & Mick Beddoes

Many years passed until 1997 when the Fiji Visitors Bureau under the directorship of Sitiveni Yaqona and Bill Whiting decided the Awards should be re introduced. As Dick Smith had been the first person to win the Visionary Award, he was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Trustees by the then Minister for Tourism and Transport, the late Mr. David Pickering. They were: Adi Lady Lala Mara Mr. Bill Cruickshank Mr. Bob Dods Mr. Gerald Barrack Since then the Fiji Excellence in Tourism awards is run annually by a voluntary committee of industry members, overseen by the Board of Trustees to invite nominations & applications, organise judging and hold a gala event for the prize giving to honor those outstanding members in our industry


To recognise individuals and organisations who have gone that extra mile to develop National Tourism and in so doing, have inspired others to share their vision of a buoyant and enduring service industry of supreme national importance.