The Big Cheese

The Big Cheese with Hilton’s Irene Edwards

As the cluster marketing and communications manager at Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa and DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island, we reckon Irene Edwards would have one epic business card.

The great thing about my job is…

Coming to work every day in such a beautiful location and being surrounded by happy people who are enjoying holidaying in Fiji. I love being able to get out an about and showcase our two resorts to guests, groups and media. In my job, I’m definitely not chained to my desk all day.

The challenge for the industry is…

The biggest challenge for Fiji as a MICE destination is the strong competition we face from other resort style destinations. Continuing to raise the profile of Fiji within this market is crucial.

My greatest achievement is…

Transitioning from a media-facing role (as a television presenter with Fiji TV) to a successful marketing career in the hotel industry. In my role at Hilton Fiji, highlights have included facilitating major media wins for the hotel, including live weather crosses on Nine’s Today show and securing Fiji TV to film an entire episode of its breakfast show at the resort in celebration of 100 years of Hilton.

The biggest thing in MICE this year will be…

In May this year, Fiji hosted the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 52nd Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors. It was a massive coup for the destination and proved that we were capable of hosting really large-scale events, with a number of hotels working together to make it a success. I believe it’s a sign of what’s to come for Fiji and attracting a bigger share of the MICE market.

I try to relax by…

I’m currently building a house, so finding any time to relax right now is nearly impossible! Although, I do always make a point of taking a Sunday afternoon stroll along the beach with daughter, which always energises me for the week ahead.

I don’t understand why…

People would want to go anywhere else but Fiji for their holiday!

My favourite venue/destination is…

Fiji of course! But if I had to choose somewhere else, it would be Canada. My sister lives just near Niagara Falls, which is one of the most spectacular natural sites I’ve ever seen.

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Greenland. It has always intrigued me.

I am scared to death of…

Snakes… but only when I’m visiting Australia, as I’m convinced they are all poisonous.

I can’t live without…

My daughter – she is my world.

I really wish I had…

More time in the day. Looking after the marketing and communications for two resort properties certainly keeps me on toes. What I would love to do if only I had more time!

If I could invite four people to a dinner party, they’d be…

My four best friends from high school. I haven’t seen them for years, although we are regularly in touch. It would be amazing to all sit together in the same room and have a proper good old ‘talanoa’ (catch-up) session.

For anyone starting out in the industry, one piece of advice I’d give would be…

Working in hotels provides so many opportunities and you meet so many interesting people. Sometimes these people will have different approaches and opinions to the way things are done. Don’t take early criticism to heart, learn and grow, and you’ll soon find yourself in a job that is both challenging and rewarding.

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