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Storms Hit Fiji Airways Bookings, Recovery Underway

Storms Hit Fiji Airways Bookings, Recovery Underway
Fiji Airways
April 20
11:28 2016

Our national airline is said to have shared information of a decline in forward bookings with the Tourism Action Group (TAG).

Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Andre Viljoen, yesterday confirmed the reported decline in flight bookings resulted from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston and the subsequent floods.

“As expected, after any natural disaster, the industry tends to see a slump which is not out of the ordinary,” he said.

“However, thanks to the timely reaction and efforts by our team at Fiji Airways and the industry, numbers are starting to pick up and we stand ready to welcome more visitors to Fiji.”

TAG chairman, Damend Gounder, in a notice to all Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association members said the declined bookings was one of the new challenges our tourism industry was now faced with.

The forward bookings decline is for the next six months and as of Monday April 11 and follows on from the recent flooding and Cyclone Zena.

He said adding to this challenge is the news of the Zika virus and the CDC has now listed Fiji with confirmed Zika cases.

“Travel advisories by overseas countries could reflect this information and further public relations activities with new information by the industry will be required,” he said.

Despite these, Mr Gounder confirmed positive results for the first phase following the impact of Cyclone Winston.

“Reports from the airline and the industry indicate good intakes and a halt on cancellations due to Cyclone Winston,” he said.

“Whilst the months of March and April are still double digits below the same period last year, the May to September period has held up well.

“This is except for the Coral Coast which shows a concerning decline, especially for the month of September according to figures supplied by Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA).

“I will assume this is across the board and some resorts will be struggling more than others. The committee whilst encouraged by the first phase of the Reassurance programme, is still concerned and mindful of the challenges ahead.”

 

PR Activities

Mr Gounder said public relations activities of TAG has been increased with definitive programme and costs.

The cost for funding the various activities is approximately $400,000 and with a provisional $50,000 as contingency, TAG is looking at $450,000.

“Our available funds including current pledges is approximately $300,000 contributed by the industry and private sector,” he said.

The TAG committee needs support to raise a further$150,000.

“I must thank Tourism Fiji and Fiji Airways for funding all tactical and media campaigns for Phase 1,” Mr Gounder said.

“Fiji Airways has further advised a $100,000 support in airfares for media famils and PR activities.

“It is also to be noted that all media famils and PR activities undertaken by TAG will strongly prioritise resorts and operators that have contributed to TAG financially.

“If you are yet to contribute I ask you to please do so urgently so to enable TAG to proceed with the vitally important activities.”

 

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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