Tourism Fiji has announced the appointment of experienced tourism marketing executive Brent Hill as its new CEO.
Hill (pictured above), who most recently was the executive director of marketing at the South Australian Tourism Commission, brings over 16 years’ experience in tourism and digital marketing, advertising, branding, communications, campaign and executive strategy to Fiji’s national tourism organisation.
He replaces former CEO Matt Stoeckel, whose tenure ended in December 2020 after it was revealed he was joining Visit Sunshine Coast as its new boss. Rob Thompson has been keeping the seat warm as acting CEO of Tourism Fiji since Stoeckel’s departure.
Tourism Fiji chairman Andre Viljoen said: “We’re delighted to welcome someone of Brent’s calibre to this critically important role not just for Fijian tourism, but for the Fijian economy.
“Brent shone through in the extremely rigorous recruitment process initiated and conducted by the board, with PwC’s assistance, for a CEO to lead Tourism Fiji in these unprecedented times, where international tourism activity has been zero for over a year now.
“His proven expertise, experience and ideas for the industry’s revival are a perfect fit for Fiji’s current requirements.
“When border restrictions ease and travel resumes, Fiji will need dynamism and creativity in marketing itself as an attractive, aspirational and safe destination.
“We are in the same situation as every other leisure tourism destination in the world. All of us are going for the same markets, which are now smaller with lower discretionary spending ability.
“Brent is highly regarded in the industry given his many accomplishments, and we will need his wide range of existing relationships and management skills with key global trade partners to market our destination, and his excellent communications skills to rally our industry and stakeholders to a common purpose.
“His immediate focus will be to work with the board and Fiji’s extremely competent health authorities to restore tourism activity.”
Fijian Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya also welcomed Hill’s appointment.
“Restoring tourism activity will not only restore jobs for hundreds of thousands of Fijians, it will also significantly contribute to the revival of the economy through the industry’s multiplier effect,” Koya said.
“We are turning the corner now with the rollout of our national vaccination program in anticipation of market re-entry beyond our traditional markets.
“This sets the scene for Mr Hill and Tourism Fiji to position Fiji as the ideal destination for not only our Aussie and Kiwi friends, but to those that are ready to travel.
“We will also look to him to pair our globally renowned values of true Fijian hospitality, friendliness and authenticity to the demands and expectations of the modern-day traveller.
“With Mr Hill at the helm of Tourism Fiji, we are a step closer to strategically positioning Fiji in the global market again.”
Fiji’s Minister for Tourism and Tourism Fiji also thanked Thompson for his support to both the industry and government during the pandemic.