SUNBIZ

Tourism Earnings Grow

In the last five years, tourism earnings for Fiji grew at a higher rate, an average 8.9 per cent, in comparison to arrivals, which increased by 5.8 per cent.
29 Sep 2019 13:49
Tourism Earnings Grow
Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali (middle) with USP students at the Shangri La’s Fijian Resort and Spa, Yanuca Island on September 27. Photo: Charles Chambers

In the last five years, tourism earnings for Fiji grew at a higher rate, an average 8.9 per cent, in comparison to arrivals, which increased by 5.8 percent.

Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali said this was an indication that Fiji was earning more from the visitors coming into the country.

“As the fastest growing sector in the country and in the world, tourism is also the largest employer in Fiji creating one in three jobs directly or indirectly.”

Mr Ali made the comments while speaking to staff and students of the University of the South Pacific School (USP) of Tourism and Hospitality during the World Tourism Day celebrations on Friday.

The event was held at Shangri La’s Fijian Resort and Spa, Yanuca Island.

The school was divided into two the first group spent time talking to staff at the Shangri La’s Fijian Resort and Spa on careers in the tourism industry.

The second group attended talks given by management staff of the Outrigger and were taken for coral planting and building of fish houses.

Tourist arrivals

“Tourist arrivals internationally have increased 56 times in 50 years.

“In 2018, international tourist arrivals grew six per cent compared to the previous year to reach 1.4 billion, two years ahead of UNWTO’s forecast,” Mr Ali said.

“This means more jobs created.

“Travel and tourism globally account for one in every 10 jobs.

“Largely attributed to the strong linkages it has with other sectors, such as construction, transport, agriculture, entertainment and manufacturing.

“On behalf of the Fijian Government I want to thank everyone here, especially the Tourism and Hospitality Students’ Association, for this great initiative.”

Careers fair

He said the Careers Fair at the Fijian resort had been successfully organised over the past 13 years and that was due to the commitment and efforts of the students who raised funds through raffles and prizes, supported by the local tourism industry.

“The Fijian Government has laid the foundation for its youth, with policies and initiatives, such as free education, bus fare, scholarships and funding programmes, geared towards enabling talented young Fijians reach their potential.

“As a young nation, we continue to make headway with the advancement of youth by providing the necessary resources and support to grow into productive, educated and ambitious Fijians.

“The Fijian Government’s approach to tourism is sustainable partnership, where each stakeholder in the industry takes a shared responsibility towards achieving the national vision for the tourism sector. That includes all of you here.

“In order for the industry to grow and remain competitive, we need more local businesses to enter the market – what we are looking for – is a unique business idea that can provide a unique experience or value for our visitors.

“The team from the Ministry can share more information on the YES programme, if you are interested.”

MOU between USP and MITT

Director Tourism Nanise Masau said the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MITT) decided to partner with USP through a memorandum of Understanding for World Tourism Day.

She said the request to assist the students from USP who are students of the School of Hospitality and Tourism.

“The fish house building and coral planting are a way of giving back to the environment.

“The operators have come onboard to support the students,” Mrs Masau said adding the partnership with USP would be ongoing.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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