The Fiji Visitors Bureau and hoteliers are concerned at the downturn in tourists going to Fiji during the past six months. Well, the travel advisories are a bit negative and the newspaper stories, but people are still going and coming back with good stories.
However one problem is the high cost of fares. When enquiring about Melbourne-Nadi fares at a travel agency we were quoted at a fare for over $1000A - well that is fare too much. Eventually we found a fare on the internet for $900A but that is still very high.
In today's news there's talk about only 50% occupancy rates and the need for brochures and advertising campaigns but I don't think brochures will really work. Also I think Bernadette and co going to Dubai was hardly necessary - I don't think our tourist market is in the Middle East!
Of course it is very disappointing that many people in the west of Viti Levu - and other places of course - have lost jobs or are on half-pay, etc. Tourism is a flighty business (ha ha) and should not be depended upon as a main source of income for Fiji. More intensive food production surely is the way to go I reckon.
More job loses expected within tourism industry
Jul 23, 2007, 08:20
More job losses are expected within the tourism industry as there are no signs of recovery. Interim Labour Minister Bernadette Ganilau told Village news that hotels and resorts are struggling to keep people employed as occupancy rates remain below 50%.
According to Ganilau lack of funds has decreased their advertising drastically and they desperately need the $2 million allocated by the Finance Ministry for printing of brochures and restarting various advertising campaigns which has seized at the moment.
Interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry who returned from Brussels yesterday afternoon is yet to comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Employers Federation said it is yet to acquire the relevant information to determine how many people have lost their jobs over the last seven months due to the decline in the tourism sector.