The Bula spirit in Fiji is not just a marketing ploy. You can feel it the moment you set foot off the plane, see it in the eyes of locals waving hello as you walk by, and you can hear it in the way you are greeted (with a giant ‘bula!’) as soon as you check into your accommodation.
It’s because Fijians are considered to be the happiest people in the world. And they are always at the ready to share that happiness with visitors.
That’s why Tourism Fiji has come up with a fun new initiative to help us celebrate happiness — it’s all-new Bulanaires program.
A Bulanaire is someone who is rich in happiness.
“Bulanaires are people who embody the values for happiness, and share happiness with those around them whether that is giving back, appreciating life or simply connecting more with family and friends,” says Professor Lea Waters (Phd), a psychologist scientist, author and TEDx speaker who specialises in positive psychology.
Professor Waters is a psychologist, scientist, author and TEDx speaker who specialises in positive psychology, has guiding principles for happiness, such as being selfless or giving back, or making time for connections through family and community. Many of Professor Waters’ principles are found among the people of Fiji, which likely explains why Fiji was deemed the Happiest Country in the World in the 2017 annual Gallup International Survey on Happiness, Hope and Economic Optimism.
Happiness is a mindset which means almost anyone with a great spirit can be a Bulanaire!
But for this campaign, Tourism Fiji has selected a number of local Bulanaires to be the frontline ambassadors for Fiji, to nurture and promote the role they play within the tourism industry. With guidance from Prof. Lea Waters, the 2020 list of Bulanaires includes those that follow some of Waters’ guiding principles for happiness, such as being selfless or giving back, injecting humour into daily life, or valuing family and community.
Coinciding with International Day of Happiness on March 20, Tourism Fiji (the government agency dedicated to marketing and promoting the islands of Fiji) will celebrate the thing that sets Fiji apart from other destinations; and that is its people, with the launch of its Bulanaire campaign. Bulanaires is ultimately a campaign about happiness, sharing that happiness and encouraging others to think about their own happiness, aiming to make the world a better place.
This year’s campaign is dedicated to showcasing authentic Fijian hospitality by celebrating the true heroes; the frontliners of the tourism industry who put a smile on visitors faces.
Travellers to Fiji will be able to meet some of the selected Bulanaires as part of its Happiness Month, as well as enjoy ‘happy moments’ with complimentary add-ons at many resorts and hotels, and activities such as extended happy hours and complimentary massages as part of the initiative.