Fiji campaign takes the happy approach

by Steve Hartridge

Tourism Fiji invited selected guests to the Fiji High Commission in London this week for the launch of the South Pacific Ocean destination’s new campaign.

High Commissioner Jitoko Tikolevu kicked off proceedings - on the same day as International Day of Happiness (March 20) - by noting that annual surveys of the world’s happiest nations regularly place Fiji near the top.

For example, Fiji was voted the 'Happiest Country in the World' in the 2017 Gallup International Survey on Happiness, Hope and Economic Optimism.

The new campaign, announced by Jane West, the tourism board’s Regional Manager, UK and Europe, taps into this state of general contentment and the brand strapline “Where Happiness Finds You” through an inaugural ‘Bulanaires List’ of people around the globe who are thought to be ‘rich in happiness’.

Bulanaires is a play on the much-used Fijian word ‘Bula’, which has multiple meanings including ‘happiness’ and ‘good health’ but in its purest form means ‘Wishing You Life’.

The list is also meant as an alternative take on the annual ‘rich lists’ - of the type featured by The Sunday Times - that showcase the increased number of billionaires each year, but with the measures for ‘rich’ instead centring all those factors that lead to greater happiness and contentment. These include, for example, enjoying the simple pleasures of life or giving one's time to a local community project.

Those who made the initial list come from Fiji, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Asia and India, covering roles such as rugby player, film director, Bollywood actor, environmentalist, TV host, a Fiji Airways flight attendant and a worker in Fiji’s hospitality sector.

“In Fiji, the warmth and friendliness of the locals is what visitors to the destination remember the most,” said Matthew Stoeckel, CEO for Tourism Fiji.

“The Bula Spirit is felt the second you arrive in Fiji and stays with you well after you return home. Fiji really is the place where happiness finds you and we developed Bulanaires to share and celebrate this happiness with the world.”

The ‘Bulanaires List’ initiative is to be rolled out across Tourism Fiji’s and third-party channels including broadcast, print and digital.

Brand assets have been created to showcase the ‘Bula Spirit’.

UK arrivals last year numbered approximately 20,000, and tourism is worth around AUS$1.9 billion a year to Fiji’s economy, said High Commissioner Jitoko Tikolevu.;

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