SATC's Hill takes CEO post at Tourism Fiji

South Australian Tourism Commission CMO is confirmed as the new chief executive for Tourism Fiji

South Australian Tourism Commission CMO, Brent Hill, has been confirmed as Tourism Fiji’s new CEO.

The experience marketer and CMO50 alumni member first announced his departure from SATC in late May after more than five-and-a-half years. Hill’s achievements at the organisation have seen him repeatedly recognised in the CMO50 and among Australia’s marketing innovative and effective marketing leaders.

His departure comes off the back of a challenging couple of years for tourism in the state after devastating bushfires as well as the COVID-19 global pandemic. Hill is being replaced by former San Remo CMO, Erik De Roos.

Hill is replacing acting Tourism Fiji CEO, Robert Thompson, who has been caretaking in the role since last November following the departure of Matt Stoeckel. In a LinkedIn post, Hill said he’s moving to his new home in Fiji in early-mid August.

“I'm excited to continue in tourism in such a beautiful country renowned for their hospitality and spirit, knowing that we have a real fight on our hands to get tourism and the visitor economy back to where it belongs,” he said. “I have always respected the honour of being entrusted with the role here at SATC and feel the same way now going into this role with Tourism Fiji.”

In a statement, Tourism Fiji chairman Andre Viljoen, said Hill shone through during the recruitment process with a proven track record in stellar tourism performance, and was a great choice to lead the tourism body in these tough times. International tourism activity has been at a zero across Fiji for the past year as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Hill’s immediate task will be to work with the Board and Fiji’s health authorities to restore tourism activity, Viljoen added.

Fijian Minister for Tourism, the Honourable 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. We are turning the corner now with the rollout of our national vaccination program in anticipation of market re-entry beyond our traditional markets,” he said.

“With Mr Hill at the helm of Tourism Fiji, we are a step closer to strategically positioning Fiji in the global market again.”

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