The agents were on one of four itineraries, each showcasing different holiday experiences in Fiji. Agents visited resorts in the Mamanuca Islands, Yasawa Islands, Savusavu, Coral Coast, Pacific Harbour and Denarau. ‘My expectations were (of) nice resorts and warm weather, but what I got out of it is that there is so much adventure in Fiji,’ says Angela Sargeant, a travel agent from World Travellers on the Yasawa Islands famil. ‘It really was the people that made the experience memorable. The connections we made as both a group and with the Fijians were priceless.’ This year the Matai Mega Famils experienced a huge surge of interest, with 219 applications from registered Matai Specialist agents vying for the limited 36 spaces. ‘Famils are a key part of Tourism Fiji’s annual trade education programme,’ says Sonya Lawson, regional manager New Zealand.
‘It’s important our agents know the right places to send their clients and are up to date with the destination offerings and nothing helps with this like experiencing it first-hand,’ continues Lawson. Experiences included visiting luxury resorts, touring the J.Hunter Pearl farm and Hot Glass Fiji, zip-lining at Momi Bay, jetboating with Sigatoka River Safaris, exploring the Sawa-i-Lau caves and enjoying a cultural performance by VOU Dance Fiji. Check out #NZFIJIMATAI on Instagram to see photos of where they found their happiness. New Zealand travel agents will have another opportunity at the start of 2020 to register for a chance to be selected to participate in the next Mega Matai Famil, which is currently set to take place throughout various regions of Fiji in March 2020. To apply for future Tourism Fiji Mega Matai Famils, agents must first become registered Matai Specialists through the Matai Programme.