The Fijian Government’s bold recovery initiatives and the revolutionary tax reviews is a clear indication reinforcing that we are all in this together, says the Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association.

The Association says it was optimistic that the 2020-2021 budget address would incorporate pragmatic approaches to assisting the industry.

The Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association CEO Fantasha Lockington says Government has directly responded to our needs as we recover from the lowest point of our industry’s recent history.

Lockington adds that the Association is delighted that Government has delivered a bold and innovative budget that has responded to our needs and has set the framework we need to reduce overhead costs.

Lockington is confident that members will support the initiatives to ensure that savings are passed on to the customers and know they are keen to provide value for money packages to rekindle the tourism industry.

Government, she says has taken a critical enabling step towards this goal.

The 2020-2021 Budget, she says, recognises that to bring jobs back quickly, we must bring back visitors quickly and driving business creativity during far from normal times is critical.

The industry has already commenced working on creating safe work practices and environments to maintain Fiji’s COVID containment status that ensure we keep our people and our visitors safe, and sincerely acknowledge the intense efforts by all concerned to get us to this safe stage.

Covid-19 might have taken a negative toll on our businesses and our economy, but the Association says they the opportunity to restart the travel industry and rebuild it in a way that it can operate more sustainably.

The Association also acknowledges and appreciate that Government continues to enable and provide assistance to tourism industry staff, who are struggling as a result of employment cuts caused by this pandemic.

The Association remains optimistic that quarantine-free travel will commence soon with New Zealand and shortly thereafter, Australia.

Domestic consumption, while highly appreciated, is not sufficient for the long-term sustainability of the industry and the Association urgently needs the foreign tourism market to recommence to fully reinvigorate the industry together with the employment it brings.

The Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association looks forward to cooperating with Government and our national carrier, Fiji Airways, to return tourism to its rightful place as the key driver of economic growth in Fiji.

For now, they need the support of all Fijians while we work hard to recover.

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