Six Senses Fiji GM Frans WestraadtFrans, you’ve travelled the world throughout your hotel career, from the Maldives to Namibia and Thailand. What was the lure of relocating to Fiji?Fiji was a venture of personal growth for me, a way to stimulate the travel bug that has kept me on the move to beautiful places for many years. I was excited and intrigued to join another young, dynamic group of people in Fiji.Had you travelled to Fiji prior to accepting this role and what were your expectations? And how are you adjusting to life in the Pacific?I had previously visited Fiji and I was thrilled when I returned that the country exceeded my expectations this time around. The friendliness and warmth of the people here just blow me away. Adjusting to life in the Pacific was easy: I am now considered a Fijian, part of the family. Final question, and it’s LATTE’s signature question. What is your favourite coffee outlet and your beverage of choice?In the resort, I love RaRa for a morning coffee (black with a dash of milk and no sugar) – I can sit in peace and reconnect with nature as I watch the stingrays and fish in the marina. It’s a very Zen atmosphere.In all the world, I love nothing more than having a coffee at my farm in Namibia. I stare out over the fields, watch the animals come and go for their morning drinks and I just unwind. It’s my carefree time to daydream in the most beautiful spot. The term ‘luxury’ has a diverse range of meanings and definitions. How do you personally define ‘luxury’?In the industry, I define ‘luxury’ as meeting people’s expectations, and then going over and above that to give them an experience that’s completely out of the ordinary. On a personal level, luxury, to me, means a good quality of life and doing all you can to please those close to you.Six Senses Fiji has now been open for 14+ months. Can you tell us where guests are coming from around the world, and what their average length of stay is?Our main visitors are from Australia with New Zealand and America calling joint second place, depending on the time of the year. Lots of Europeans who have knowledge of the brand also make the long trip to visit us here in Fiji. Our average length of stay is six nights. How big is the Australian market for the property, and does Six Senses Fiji work with the trade (wholesalers, OTAs, etc)?Australia is our top market, bringing in beautiful people throughout the year, many who have been to Fiji before but not stayed at a Six Senses property. It is great to introduce them to a new way of holidaying. Our sales team work hard getting the word out in the market through wholesalers, DMCs, OTAs and direct with individually owned agencies.The resort is located on Malolo Island in the Mamanucas. Do most guests arrive in Fiji and overnight in Denarau, or are you finding they are coming directly across to the resort the day of arrival?One of the beauties of Six Senses Fiji is its proximity to the mainland meaning guests can be lounging by the pool in record time after landing in Nadi. We have a helipad on site and so the 10-minute scenic helicopter ride from Nadi Airport is a popular method of transport. Also, our boats are able to run 24 hours a day meaning guests can come directly to us on the same day of their arrival into the country. Six Senses Fiji opened to guests on 14 April 2018 on Malolo Island in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands. The resort features 24 one- and two-bedroom pool villas, all with private pools, decks and outdoor showers, with the resort sitting on a private sand beach that stretches 650 metres.Six Senses Fiji also comprises 10 private residences of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom configurations, offering private pools, barbecues and fully equipped kitchens. Phase Two of the residential element is currently underway, and will see an additional 50 residences added.Recently appointed General Manager of Six Senses Fiji, Frans Westraadt, gives LATTE an update on the up-market property’s current key source markets, potential growth markets, wellness offering, sustainability initiatives and more, and explains his decision to relocate to Fiji. Wellness is a core pillar of the Six Senses experience. Can you tell us about the wellness experiences on offer at Six Senses Fiji?Wellness is an experience in itself at the resort. We have a wonderful Spa team who offer a great range of activities.Niranjan, our in-house yogi gives meditation, yoga, aerial yoga, aqua move classes and more. The spa girls give massages to die for and we have a variety of experts that come in as Visiting Practitioners, offering services such as tarot card reading, facials and traditional Chinese medicine treatments.Our alchemy bar is where guests can mix their own body scrubs and lip balms using fresh ingredients from the garden and guests can also undertake a wellness screening that tells them how ‘well’ they’re doing based on their current lifestyle.Following a screening, guests can take it that one step further and follow a personalised wellness program for the duration of their stay that includes meal plans, treatments and exercise recommendations.The best thing about our wellness offerings is that they are optional … we’re not going to tell if we see a guest with an ice-cream in hand – it’s their holiday!Can you tell us about the sustainability practices at Six Senses Fiji, and how guests can get involved?Sustainability is at the core of what we do here at Six Senses Fiji, as it is in all our properties worldwide. Our main effort here in Fiji is our solar system. The resort is designed to be solar-powered with the largest microgrid in Fiji to use Tesla batteries.We have a chicken coop, Cluckingham Palace, and plenty of herb, fruit and vegetable gardens in the resort so guests can collect fresh eggs each day, which the kids love, or pick fresh herbs for their meals.Our coral nursery is ever growing in our bay and we have plans to incorporate this with a guest experience as we develop our planting methods.Our waste treatment area is always developing and in time we will be using glass crushed on property to create useful items such as pot plants. Guests are encouraged to ditch plastic bags and especially single-use plastic water bottles when they come to the property.We have our own water bottling plant that uses glass Six Senses bottles, meaning there is no need for single-use plastic bottles anywhere on the property.What excites you most about coming to, a) Six Senses Fiji and b) more widely, Fiji?Fiji is a magical place of untouched beauty. For me, it has enormous potential for growth that is just waiting to be discovered. The destination is such a promising destination yet to be fully explored by the European and South African tourism markets. This untapped potential is what really excites me the most.
Signs with the U.S. flag and Chinese flag are seen at the Qingdao free trade port area in Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong province.AFP / Getty U.S. President Donald Trump says China pays the tariffs he has imposed on US$250 billion of Chinese exports to the United States.But that is not how tariffs work. China’s government and companies in China do not pay tariffs directly. Tariffs are a tax on imports. They are paid by U.S.-registered firms to U.S. customs for the goods they import into the United States.Importers often pass the costs of tariffs on to customers — manufacturers and consumers in the United States — by raising their prices. Vietnam is cracking down on Chinese goods relabelled illegally by exporters trying to beat U.S. tariffs Australia dodges Trump tariffs on metals, thanks to U.S. politicians U.S. ‘not ready’ to make a trade deal with China, Trump says U.S. business executives and economists say U.S. consumers foot much of the bill through rising prices.White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has acknowledged that “both sides will suffer on this,” contradicting the president.The tariff bill is set to rise further. Trump this month directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to launch the process of imposing tariffs on the remaining US$300 billion of goods from China. That includes products ranging from cellphones to baby pacifiers.That would mean almost all imports from China would be subject to a 25 per cent import tax.Almost all imports from China could be subject to a 25 per cent import tax Reuters Twitter A growing number of U.S. companies has warned about the negative impact of the tariffs on U.S. consumers.Nike Inc. and 172 other footwear companies have urged Trump to remove footwear from a list of imports facing a proposed extra 25 per cent tariff, warning the move could cost consumers an additional US$7 billion a year.Walmart Inc., the world’s largest retailer, and department store chain Macy’s Inc. have warned that prices for shoppers will rise due to higher tariffs on goods from China.What the “Tariff Man” saysTrump, who has called himself the Tariff Man, has often repeated that China pays for U.S. tariffs on its goods.“We have billions of dollars coming into our Treasury — billions — from China. We never had 10 cents coming into our Treasury; now we have billions coming in,” he said on Jan. 24.On May 5, he tweeted: “For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA.”As well as imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump has also imposed a tax on global steel and aluminum imports and shipments of washing machines and solar panels.President Trump has also imposed a tax on global steel and aluminum imports and shipments of washing machines and solar panels. What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Higher prices for tractors, washing machinesHigher duties on imports of metals and Chinese products, for example, increased Caterpillar’s production costs by more than US$100 million last year. In response, the heavy-duty equipment maker increased prices for its products.Tractor manufacturer Deere & Co estimates a US$100 million increase in its raw materials costs this year because of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Deere has cut costs and increased prices to protect its profits.A Congressional Research Service report in February found that the tariffs boosted washing machine prices by as much as 12 per cent from January 2018, before tariffs took effect.Steel and aluminum tariffs increased the price of steel products by nearly nine per cent last year, pushing up costs for steel users by US$5.6 billion, according to a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.U.S. companies and consumers paid US$3 billion a month in additional taxes because of tariffs on Chinese goods and on aluminum and steel from around the globe, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Princeton University and Columbia University. Companies shouldered an additional US$1.4 billion in costs related to lost efficiency in 2018, the study found.What do companies in China pay?China has retaliated against U.S. tariffs by imposing its own tariffs on imports from the United States.Most importers in China are Chinese. So in the same way the U.S. government collects import taxes on Chinese goods from U.S. importers, the Chinese government takes in taxes on U.S. goods from Chinese importers.As with tariffs in the United States, Chinese firms can seek to pass on the costs to U.S. exporters. Some U.S. interests have lost business, such as U.S. soy farmers.Chinese buyers have cut billions of dollars of soybean purchases from the United States because China’s tariffs have made U.S. supplies more expensive than beans from competitors such as Brazil. Reddit How tariffs really workU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) collects the tax on imports. The agency typically requires importers to pay duties within 10 days of their shipments clearing customs.Through May 1, Washington has assessed US$23.7 billion in tariffs since early 2018, according to data from the CBP.Total tariff revenue — including levies that pre-dated Trump – shot up 89 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal year that started Oct. 1, to a total of US$34.7 billion, according to U.S. Treasury data.Every item imported into the United States legally has a customs code. Importers are expected to check the tariffs and other taxes and duties due on the goods they bring in, calculate what they owe and pay it.U.S. Customs reviews payments and sends importers a fresh bill if it detects underpayment.Importers also have to post payment guarantees, or import bonds, with customs. The costs of these bonds have risen with tariffs, an additional burden on U.S.-based firms importing goods from China.Do Chinese suppliers bear the costs of U.S. tariffs?Chinese suppliers do shoulder some of the cost of U.S. tariffs in indirect ways. Exporters sometimes, for instance, are forced to offer U.S. importers a discount to help defray the costs of higher U.S. duties. Chinese companies might also lose business if U.S. importers find another tariff-free source of the same goods outside China.And outside of tariffs, the Trump administration’s decision to add China’s Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment maker, to a trade blacklist, has hit that company hard.But U.S.-based importers are managing the higher tax burden in a number of ways that hurt U.S. companies and customers more than China.Such strategies include accepting lower profit margins; cutting costs — including wages and jobs for U.S. workers; deferring any potential wage hikes, as well as passing on tariff costs through higher prices for U.S. consumers or companies.Most importers use a mix of such tactics to spread the higher costs among suppliers and consumers or buyers.John Deere & Co. has had to cut costs and increase prices to make up for higher material costs. Reuters file photo Share this storyThe lowdown on who pays Trump’s tariffs: Is it, as he says, China, or U.S. customers and companies? Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn ← Previous Next → The lowdown on who pays Trump’s tariffs: Is it, as he says, China, or U.S. customers and companies? ‘We never had 10 cents coming into our Treasury; now we have billions coming in’ from China, the president has said. But he’s wrong Recommended For YouRussia urges Europe to take clearer position on Iran dealIran’s defensive strategy can turn offensive if enemies err – Guards ChiefSlate Securities L.P. to be Appointed Canadian Manager and Trustee of Sterling Mortgage Income FundInmarsat bidders make investment pledges after talks with UK govtRussian tainted oil suspect detained in Lithuania – TASS Email advertisement Facebook Sponsored By: 1 Comments Join the conversation → Featured Stories Comment Postmedia file photo More June 19, 20194:28 PM EDT Filed under News Economy