Published on Monday, December 8, 2014

State funding for Fiji International Golf tournament 'money well spent'

Fiji tourism minister Faiyaz Koya has defended the decision to pump $12 million of public funds into the recent Fiji International Golf tournament at Natadola Bay, saying it was money well spent.

He said the $12 million spent was minimal compared to the economic impact of the event and added tourist arrivals, and the international media coverage it attracted.

Koya, who is also industry and trade minister, said the 2015 event will be even bigger and better as it has been moved to October to take advantage of a less crowded golf schedule in Asia and Australasia.

Alongside Koya announcing details of next year's event, tournament promoter Basil Scaffidi said all areas of tourism in Fiji will reap the benefits.

"The world now knows that Fiji is a genuine golfing destination. Golf tourism has the proven ability to attract a broad range of markets from golfing holidays, conferences, events and incentive groups," he said.

"The benefits are not limited to the tournament week only, it extends year round. The Fiji International is the platform used to generate mass exposure for Fiji to leverage a slice of the estimated US$2billion worldwide golf tourism industry," added Scaffidi.

Organizers are hoping to lure more top tier golfers to next year's event and expect former world no1 and local hero Vijay Singh to compete again in 2015.

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