By Kite Pareti
Plantation Island Resort’s Sales and Relationships Manager, Apisai Vasu, is quite literally, a jack of all trades.
Vasu has been at Plantation for more than 20 years, joining as a trainee straight out of the Fiji Institute of Technology’s tourism and hospitality school.
“From tourism school, I joined PIR doing reception work, reservations, and I also looked after our medical centre for a while,” says Vasu.
In his current role, Vasu’s responsibilities are on-site sales and events, particularly weddings.
“I’m also overseeing the activities department. That consists of water sports, and also our kids club. We just opened our new $1.5 million kids club.”
But perhaps one of Vasu’s most important functions is as on-island civil marriage celebrant, a role he also fills at sister properties, Lomani Island Resort and at the Fiji Gateway Hotel.
“One of our hotel directors suggested that I become a Civil Marriage Celebrant. I asked myself whether I could do it, and our director said I could. So I applied at Suvavou House and got it on the same day that the Fiji Sevens Rugby team won a tournament. So it was like a double celebration!”
In 2012, Vasu was recognised as ‘Frontliner of the Year’ for his service to Fiji’s tourism sector at the 15th AON Fiji Excellence Tourism Awards, just one of the many accolades he has received.
Vasu says his success and experiences reflect his beginnings. “My upbringing was not an easy one, but I thank God for my parents… They were my ‘first school’, I would say. They’ve always encouraged me to remain humble and to keep trusting in God, and believe that with God, everything is possible.”
Plantation Island Resort reopened its doors in April this year, although Vasu was fortunate enough to keep working throughout the Covid-19 shutdowns. Without guests on the island, this meant filling other roles, such as being the resort’s night security officer.
“I was blessed to be working here during the pandemic. From 300 staff members, I was one of the three staff members that was still on-site,” he says.
Vasu reflects that even though COVID-19 was a “big mountain” to overcome, he chooses to view it positively as it reconnected families and friends. “It has taught me to keep sharing, even the little you can offer.”
This story first appeared in the print edition of Fiji Traveller 01.