To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

To'abaita student attends Fiji Tourism Advisory Meeting in Suva

A part-To'abaita and Renbel student at the University of the South Pacific, who is also the university's student representative to the Fiji Tourism Council has attended the 4th Tourism Industry Advisory Meeting in Suva, yesterday.

She is Joyce Konofilia-Maetoloa who hails from the Malu'u area in North Malaita and is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Tourism, Hospitality and Management.

According to Mrs Maetoloa, the main agenda of the advisory meeting yesterday was the upcoming "career fair" for final year tourism students which will be convened at Denarau, Nadi over the weekend. It is understood that this career fair is the first ever of its kind to be organised by the USP Tourism Department in conjunction with the Fiji Tourism industry, for tourism students to showcase their qualifications and skills to tourism operators and authorities in Fiji.

It is anticipated that more than 30 Hotels and other tourism operators including the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, South Pacific Forum Secretariat, Fiji Visitors Bureau and the Fiji Ministry of Tourism will attend this career fair.

Among the final year Pacific Island tourism students who will attend that career fair are four Solomon Islanders; Charles Maclean (BA Tourism & Management), Jestinah Mesepitu (BA Tourism & Information Systems), Casper Supa (BA Tourism & Hospitality) and Joyce Konofilia-Maetoloa (BA Tourism, Hospitality & Management).

In the past, one of the major obstacles for regional students to get employment in Fiji is the work permit. However, through prior negotiations by the Tourism Department at USP with responsible authorities, the tourism industry operators have agreed to be responsible for immigration requirements for regional students in the case that a regional student gets full-time employment or part-time work experience in Fiji.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for tourism students from the region including Solomon Islands who would like to gain experience from the big industries in Fiji and return home to develop our own Tourism industry," said Mrs Maetoloa.

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