A Day at the Bilibili Races -  School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM)

A Day at the ‘Bilibili Races’

Fiji’s Independence Day this year represented the 29th year of the ‘Bilibili Races’. This is an annual festive sporting event involving employees of the major hotels and resorts in Viti Levu, particularly along the southern coast. The highlight of the event is the famous "bilibili" (bamboo raft) race along the Sigatoka River.

This year, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), based in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of South Pacific, formed a strategic relationship with the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH), establishing a GPH–STHM Bilibili team involving 63 performers. The team produced some excellent performances and successful outcomes, especially in the following contests:

Team Placing

1.       Managers’ Double Kayak – first place

2.       Coconut Tunnel – second

3.       Waitresses’ Race – third

4.       Single Kayak Relay – third

STHM’s Hotel Management Programme Coordinator for STHM, Mr Greg Cornwall, expressed the importance of this event in enhancing the student experience, stating: ‘This is a significant annual student activity. Students have a great practical lesson in team work, mutual trust and collective communication. Also, such events are very useful PR initiatives, as well as important in helping to solidify relationships with the hospitality industry’.

Mr. Hupfeld Hoerder, Assistant Lecturer at STHM, emphasized that student involvement in this event would not have been possible but for the support that others provided. He commented: ‘STHM would like to provide a warm thank you to USP’s Campus Life, and Properties and Facilities, for providing tents and tarpaulins, and also to the Grand Pacific Hotel who helped to provide the necessary resources as well as work closely with us at the event itself. Also, I would like to mention that the students, along with GPH team members, raised money at USP’s Market Days in order to fund the event. So we were very pleased with all aspects of the event, which was very successful’



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