After four-and-a-half years at the helm of Tourism Fiji, CEO Matt Stoeckel has announced he is leaving the organisation for personal reasons when his contract concludes in December.
Stoeckel said it has been “a privilege” to lead Tourism Fiji and work with all of the organisation’s industry stakeholders and trade partners to promote the destination.
“It’s also been much more than just a job, and leaving the ‘Fiji family’ has been a very difficult decision,” he said in a statement.
“However, it was time for the family to return to Australia and for me to support them in the same way they have supported me over the last four years.
“Fiji will always remain in my heart and can count on me to be back regularly as a visitor to the place where happiness really does find you.”
Tourism Fiji chairman Andre Viljoen said the country’s tourism industry and its trade partners would be very sorry to learn of Stoeckel’s departure.
“Matt joined Tourism Fiji in June of 2016, just months after Fiji was hit by category five TC Winston,” Viljoen said.
“Hitting the ground running is an understatement, as Matt led Tourism Fiji to achieve year-on-year record results in visitor arrivals during his tenure.
“During this time, the organisation grew from strength to strength as it expanded its operations into Singapore, China and Japan and delivered award-winning campaigns across its other international markets.
“We respect Matt’s needs to return home to Australia and wish him and his family well. In the same breath, we are now looking towards the future of the organisation.”
Viljoen said Tourism Fiji’s board of directors have commenced the recruitment process for its next CEO.
Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport and Tourism Fiji board director Shaheen Ali said Stoeckel joined the organisation at a time where the Fijian tourism industry needed to rebrand.
“Matt has been at the helm of Tourism Fiji during the pandemic, which has been the most difficult period for Fijian tourism,” Ali said.
“Leading an organisation like Tourism Fiji during this time is no doubt challenging and requires strong leadership.”
Stoeckel’s last day at Tourism Fiji will be 21 December 2020.
Tourism Fiji’s outgoing CEO will be speaking at the travel industry’s most thought-provoking conference, Travel DAZE 2020, next month. To find out more or to register, click here.