Feb 26, 2011

Matava wins Environment/Local Sustainability Award at AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010 | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava wins AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award 2011

Matava has been awarded the Environment/Local Sustainability Award at the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards

KADAVU, FIJI ISLANDS – 26th February 2011 – Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort is proud to be announced as the winner of the Environment/Local Sustainability Award at the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010 for its policies on environmental sustainability and the environment.

The annual Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards night sponsored by AON was held at the The Warwick Resort and Spa on the Coral Coast on Friday 26th February 2011, and attended by Matava Director, Stuart Gow. Many local tourism operators and business people attended the evening presentations. This year there were over a thousand nominees in the 12 categories. This glamourous event was Red Sea Rig & Cocktail theme, welcoming guests with a 3 course dinner, an awards ceremony & fantastic live entertainment with a turn out of over 400 guests.

The Environment/Local Sustainability Award recognises efforts to preserve the environment & local communities for the benefits of locals & visitors alike in developing & fostering both environmental & national conservation. It also assesses efforts to support cultural initiatives and promote public awareness and education in support of “Fiji Made” products by reducing their carbon footprint.

Matava was proud to be nominated in 3 categories, and was chosen as a finalist in all nominated categories at this year’s AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards. Bite Me Gamefishing Charters and Mad Fish Dive Centre were recognised as finalist in the Fiji Experience Award, and Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort was a finalist in the Quality Accommodation Award as well as winning the Environment/Local Sustainability Award.

“We are extremely proud to win this award. We have been lucky to win overseas and global awards for our environmental policy in the past year, but it is especially gratifying to be recognised at home by our colleagues in Fiji.” said Mr Stuart Gow, one of Matava’s Directors.

Richard Akhtar, Managing Director of Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said “At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding environmental efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”

About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort:

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 14 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

About AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards:

The awards which have been in existence for 14 years, honour those who have made a significant input to Fiji’s most important industry. The prestigious awards are given to individuals, groups and companies in a broad range of categories; covering accommodation, restaurant and dining, tours and transportation, environmental and local sustainability. Winners were chosen as part of a nomination process which began late last year and closed in January. Recipients of the various awards have proven dedication, active participation and innovation in their fields of speciality, and have thus merited the esteem of the industry. Over the years, the AON Excellence in Tourism Awards has grown in prestige and now not only bestows recognition but serves as an incentive for individuals and companies to aspire to greatness in the sector.

AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010


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Matava wins Environment/Local Sustainability Award at AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010

Feb 20, 2011

Name our new dive boat to win a Dive Trip!

What will we call her?
Name our new dive boat to win a Dive Trip!
We have happy news to share with you, we have a new BABY BOAT due for delivery at the end of March 2011!

It is currently on the blocks being built in the Fiji Islands.


That's where you come in!

We are offering a prize of a free 7 day package at Matava for 1 (one) person as a prize for the winning NAME!

Send all entries to Richard@Matava.com, Subject : New Dive Boat Name...

The Boat so far....

The vessel you are naming is an 8.5m/28ft custom designed Dive Boat. This dive boat has room for an exclusive 8 divers on a 2-tank dive,as well as a PADI Divemaster and a captain.

It has everything on board that a diver needs like rinse buckets, a camera table, a shaded area, and easy entry twin platforms for both going in and out of the water.

This vessel is custom designed for the specific diving done in Kadavu, Fiji Islands. Based on a proven hull design by NAIAD Designs from New Zealand, the boat was further developed by Bluewatercraft in Navua, Fiji Islands to allow a dry, safe ride, while allowing easy access to the water from the back twin dive platforms.

Naming Nomenclature and some guidelines:

A couple of 'rules' and guidelines that need to be adhered to...

#1. All our boats end are named as "Something" Me
  • Bite Me: our 31ft offshore gamefishing boat
  • Tease Me: our 8m GT Popping inshore fishing boat
  • Take Me: our 8m guest transfer boat
  • Carry Me: our 8m workboat
  • Dive Me: our 10m dive boat
Therefore the name must be "???? Me"

#2 For those of you who have met us, we like our humour... We're looking for something with a good measure of wit!

#3 A good double entendre would be PERFECT!

#4 It has to be acceptable by the maritime Safety Board (sorry, no F words etc...). You'll have to be more clever than that!

Send all entries to Richard@Matava.com, Subject : New Dive Boat Name...

So get your thinking caps on and you could win yourself a free trip back to Matava to dive off the boat that you named!

Send all entries to Richard@Matava.com, Subject : New Dive Boat Name...

All the best, and good luck,

Richard Akhtar
"Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort"

Prize Rules
  • As many entries as possible per person is permitted (!)
  • The winning prize voucher cannot be used in conjuction with any other offer.
  • The closing date for the competition is Fri 25th Februrary 2011
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner will be notified by email on the Mon 28 February 2011 and will receive the Matava Trip voucher
  • The winner's name will be posted on this website as soon as the winner has been notified
  • False information entered on the competition form will invalidate the entry
  • The competition is open to any past guest of Matava
  • The judges decision is final

Feb 18, 2011

Unexpected paradise!! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

My boyfriend and I, admitted city slickers, were looking for an off the beaten path experience when you stopped in FIji for a week last summer on our way to Australia. A friend recommended Matava and we couldn't be happier with our experience.

Unlike most people who visit Matava, we arrived as non-divers. We were thrilled with all the non-dive options, like the waterfall hike, beach picnic, kayaking and just general relaxing! We did decide to try our hand at diving one day and had expert instruction and a fantastic time.

The staff at Matava is so genuine, friendly and competent. While the activities offered at Matava are a great draw, by far our favorite take-away from the experience was the people. We loved to gather with the other guests each evening and talk and laugh about the day by candle/lantern light.

We can't wait to come back!!
  • Date of stay: June 2010
  • Visit was for: Leisure
  • Traveled with: With Spouse/Partner
  • Member since: February 15, 2011
  • Would you recommend this hotel to a friend? Yes!
Unexpected paradise!! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Feb 15, 2011

Waterfall adventure on Kadavu, Fiji Islands

Feb 13, 2011

How children benefit from an ecotourism experience

Just because you are going on a family vacation doesn’t mean that learning should take a break too. Ecotourism is full of what educators call teachable moments or, more definitively, unplanned opportunities to explain a concept that has unintentionally captured a child’s interest.

Photo: Greenloons

Whether it is touring the rainforests of the Amazon, observing blue footed boobies throughout the Galapagos Islands, or understanding the water issues that surround the Okavango Delta in Botswana, ecotourism is a vacation experience that provides boundless opportunities to teach younger generations about the fragility of ecosystems and the significance of heritage.

Who among us has not witnessed the common occurrence while visiting the local zoo, going hiking through the wilderness, or even watching a local artistic exhibit of younger children looking with absolute wonder and amazement at the spectacle of music, art, flora or fauna? There is delight followed by an onslaught of illuminating questions about people and the natural world.

Photo: Greenloons

These teachable moments mark milestones for a child’s personal growth and development. And, the value system that is at the core of ecotourism can be a positive influence on all age groups, not just the very young.

Specifically, children can benefit from an ecotourism vacation because the experience offers an opportunity for:

  • Instruction about indigenous wildlife – ecotours are not only small group tours that allow for up-close-and-personal views of nature, but ones that are generally led by a naturalist that have been trained to understand plants, birds, insects and animals of the region and their relationships to ecosystems, thereby bringing education alive.
  • Increased awareness about environmental degradation – an important component of ecotourism is to inform tourists about ways to minimize waste, soil erosion, air and water pollution so as not to disturb the environment – lessons that no doubt will stay with children.
  • Involvement with conservation efforts – whether it’s helping to record sea turtle activity in Greece or understand the destructive role of invasive plant species in the wilderness, ecotourism allows for deep knowledge of the fragility of the natural world.
  • Focus on the depletion of natural resources – whether its learning about how an eco-lodge harnessed solar or wind power for their operations or how countries are implementing renewable bio-energy to power engines, ecotourism teaches how the impact of tourism is affecting sustainable land development, public transportation choices, and how other countries are using low-carbon technologies today.
  • Exposure to cultural experiences – from tasting new foods to learning phrases in a foreign language, ecotourism interprets cultural traditions and experiences that provide long-lasting impressions about the world.
  • Inspiration for a life’s passion – while snorkeling through a coral reef or observing animals in their natural habitat in Africa, ecotourism sparks the imagination to dream about a career or even find a solution to an environmental problem

Ecotourism even offers opportunities to incorporate your family vacation with your child’s science, social studies, foreign language, even art and music lesson plans. One of the most helpful and free resources available now is on the Rainforest Alliance site, which offers a Kindergarten – 8th Grade curriculum guide.

One example lesson plan for a Kindergarten student is entitled Biodiversity which challenges children to think about the diversity of local flora and fauna in local forests versus tropical forests as they classify insect and tree species, while the 8th Grade lesson plan entitled Guatemala’s Changing Forest has children learning about the Maya Biosphere Reserve by analyzing maps and determining recent changes in forest cover.

Dedication to the cause of the environment and its preservation can have a long-lasting impact on the way our younger generations feel more connected to ecosystems as well as view social involvement and economic success. Not only will children establish a deeper, longer-lasting connection with the region they are visiting during an ecotour, they will learn more about how they can make a more positive impact on the world.

Irene Lane is the founder & president of Greenloons, a company dedicated to providing nature enthusiasts and wildlife conservationists worldwide with trusted information about responsible, sustainable, and certified ecotourism travel vacations and volunteer conservation efforts both in the U.S. and internationally. For more information, see: Greenloons.com.

How children benefit from an ecotourism experience | Your Travel Choice Blog

Feb 9, 2011

It’s NOT just about us……

As scuba divers, we all have an extraordinary opportunity to see parts of the world that many aren’t able to experience. Certainly the opportunity to visit diverse countries around the globe is a major part of what drives divers and professionals alike. A growing number of industry members are choosing to combine their dive trips with service projects and opportunities to give something back to local communities.

Last year, Mark Fischer of HyrdoSports Dive and Travel in Keizer, Oregon led a group of seven to Kadavu, Matava in Fiji. While there, the group did some great diving but the main thrust of the trip was to visit Koro Village. The community has limited access to medical, dental or standard eye care services. Fischer’s group, that included two dentists, a school librarian, an accountant and a heavy equipment operator, did what they could to serve local residents and put a smile on their face. Many of the smiles weren’t just the locals, but also the “visitors”.

“Everyone knew that they would be doing some type of service on the trip. It was extremely rewarding and I know that we made a difference,” Fischer points out. He’s already making plans for a second trip later this Spring.

Fischer correctly observes that it’s important for dive travelers to give back to the local communities and places they visit – and he’s not the only one.

Steve Weaver of Weaver’s Dive and Travel regularly encourages his clients to plan on bringing small things with them on trips. “School supplies including crayons, pens, paper, pencils and picture books are always welcome,” he points out. But he made another interesting observation - “Sometimes TIME can be even more valuable than money – just sitting down and talking with kids and locals makes a big difference.

It’s not just dive centers involved in making a difference. Last year, Deep Blue Adventures launched its “Good Will Diving” initiative. During the DEMA Show, officials from Deep Blue Adventures promoted “Eyes for Fiji”. The team collected nearly 200 pairs of reading glasses to send to Fiji to help meet a need for the local populations.

“The response has been overwhelming. People in the dive industry and divers in general are very generous,” says Cheryl Patterson of Deep Blue Adventures. “Everyone wants to take part – it’s incredible.”

Both Patterson and Fischer were quick to praise Air Pacific for providing assistance with baggage fees – at no charge.

Members of the industry have been “giving back” for years but the efforts are now gaining more momentum - and attention! Susan Shaw of Divegear has been raising funds to purchase wheelchairs for the people of Fiji. To date, she’s purchased and shipped more than 3,250 units to a population in need.

There’s certainly more to talk about (last month, the Ralph Erickson Educational Foundation sponsored the training of 10 new instructors in the Bahamas for example) and every effort is a worthy one.

In the end, it doesn’t matter WHAT you do as long as you DO something. There’s a world of opportunity out there and we encourage everyone to find a way to give back. Remember, it’s NOT about us!

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