16 Dec 2014

Tourism Fiji defends against claims of "ignorant" expats

7:33 am on 16 December 2014

Tourism Fiji has defended its staffing and management following criticism in Parliament by the leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad.

Mr Prasad said in the wake of resignations within the organisation, more Fijians should be promoted to sell the Fiji brand, and he said there are expatriates in the Tourism Fiji office who don't know how to say bula properly.

But the outgoing acting CEO and head of global marketing, Ken Freer, says there are two expatriates in the Fiji office and plenty more Fijians employed.

"It is essential that we have the right people who are experienced in international markets to be the best to promote our destination. Now the simple fact is in Fiji we have in our head office two non-Fijian staff, we have 23 or 25 in the team, are Fijian and they are vitally important to the success of our organisation and I am sure that will continue."

Ken Freer will be replaced as Acting CEO later this month by Wayne Deed, from Tourism Fiji's New Zealand office.