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Editorial: What is Missing in the Tourism Industry

Editorial: What is Missing in the Tourism Industry
July 03
16:03 2018

The tourism industry is no doubt the biggest contributor to Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

For the future, it is inevitable that no other industry or part of the economy will provide a return to the country like this sector.

The Government’s budget allocation of $99.3 million towards the tourism industry is a clear indicator of its vital importance.

Tourist destinations around the Asia-Pacific region like Hawaii, the Gold Coast in Australia, and Bali are but a few of the places which attracts a clear majority of holiday seekers, much more than Fiji.

It is a matter of what was on offer and of course the how much money would be spent from their pockets.

For a larger number of people going on holiday, sometimes money is not everything – it is just getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life where they are living.

Take for instance Australia. Many more Australians head for Bali than Fiji.

What is there in Bali that we cannot build on so that we can turn the tables?

Or do we have other advantages?

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa general manager Vincent Macquat in an interview earlier this year reckoned Fiji will be sought after for a peaceful holiday.

Fiji is able to offer that serenity and peaceful holiday while enjoying to the fullest and this could be the image to portray in the future as other destinations become unsafe.

We have the best hospitality and the best people in the world that associate with visitors – the Fijian people.

Even Outrigger Enterprises (parent company of Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort) president and chief executive officer Jeff Wagoner described the resort as the most beautiful spot on the planet.

He was in Fiji for two days and was taken aback at the beauty of the place and more importantly the friendliness of the people.

Mr Wagoner is based in Hawaii and to say that about Fiji and the resort certainly demonstrates our stand above some of the best.

We certainly have the x-factor in tourism, but something is still out there for the industry to grasp and take Fiji to another level.

The big wigs of the industry and the Government may need to look at what is the missing piece in the jigsaw – maybe it could be closer to home. Like, are we charging the tourists too much?

It has been mentioned before and if that is one of the reasons that gives the visitor second thoughts about Fiji when choosing their holiday destination, then it should be looked into.

Whatever it is, the budget allocation for tourism is welcomed because in the long run, the returns will only get higher as tourists look for a safer destination to spend their holidays with the amount of trouble and unpredictable weather around the world.

Charles Chambers

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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