SUNBIZ

A-G To Resort Bosses: Sharpen Your Pencils

The call comes after the arrival of the second Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft, the Island of Vanua Levu, on Monday night at the Fiji Airways hangar.
18 Dec 2019 19:45
A-G To Resort Bosses: Sharpen Your Pencils
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, is welcomed by Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and his daughter, Imaan Sayed-Khaiyum in front of the second Fiji Airways A350-900 XWB ‘Island of Vanua Levu’ on December 16, 2019.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum has called on hotel property bosses to sharpen their pencils. The call comes after the arrival of the second Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft, the Island of Vanua Levu, on Monday night at the Fiji Airways hangar.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said apart from the normal markets, there was a need in the industry for hotel properties to identify and respect different cultures and language.

“That is how you develop a mature tourism market.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said “Hotel and resort properties need to sharpen their pencils in respect of food and beverage.”

He cited Mauritius where they were moving to a new system, which included food and beverage with room rates.

“Government is now providing for hotels to renovate and build. We not only need to have the capacity on the planes but also on the ground.”

On achieving the one million arrivals mark, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the onus was also on the hotel sector to enable the availability of rooms and related products.

“The tourism market is very sophisticated nowadays, and we have to make sure we fill the rooms especially during the trough period.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said low periods could see rooms being filled through the setting up of concerts by well-known performing artists, Bollywood stars and conventions.

He said this could also include fun parks and other activities as most tourists have done away with looking for ‘sand and sun’ when on holiday.

“We could invite rap groups as Fiji is now just one flight away from Los Angeles.”

He has also labelled as unpatriotic, the destructive comments over the recent acquisition of two aircraft to the national carrier fleet.

His comment follows the revelation of pending clearance of Boeing 737 Max8 aircraft, which would make the national airline own its most modern fleet yet.

“This would complement the fleet which now has two new A350 Wide Bodied and A330 Airbus aircraft and also the Boeing 737 aircraft,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

While explaining how aircraft were purchased by most major airlines, he said questions – over the procurement of the two A350s, were “mere distractions from people who do not have much to do in their live”.

“And frankly, I find it very unpatriotic. So let’s focus on what we can do, and not on people who do not have anything to do 99.9 percent of Fijians are very proud of the aircraft,” said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

Airlines across the world have a lease finance arrangement with specialised aviation finance companies, he said.

“Even large airline companies – they don’t actually go and pay $15 billion and buy 20 aircraft.

“The airline goes and negotiates the price and, these finance companies provide the funds upfront.

“The airline then does its repayment over a period of time – whether it is 10, 15 or 20 years.

“It all just makes sense because many airline companies around the world do that. You don’t just go and fork out $15 billion.”

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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