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Love Our Locals Campaign Promotes Domestic Tourism

Love Our Locals campaign, which was presented by Tourism minister Faiyaz Koya, was an initiative to build consumer confidence and ignite economic activity in the tourism sector, he said.
07 Jun 2020 09:54
Love Our Locals Campaign Promotes Domestic Tourism
Minister of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

A campaign aimed at improving the local tourism sector was launched yesterday, as Tourism Fiji enters stage two of its market re-entry strategy.

Love Our Locals campaign, which was presented by Tourism minister Faiyaz Koya, was an initiative to build consumer confidence and ignite economic activity in the tourism sector, he said.

Domestic tourism was not a new matter for the Fiji Government which had continued to champion, he said.

“It’s an opportune time for our tourism industry and our people as we Fijians start taking part in tourism and start supporting not just our local hotels, but Fijians associated with the industry – the staff of the hotel, the farmers that supply the hotels, the handicraft sellers, who are actually keeping businesses open and running. ”

45 days later

Mr Koya said it was 45 days since Fiji recorded its last coronavirus case.

“We’ve cleared the last of our COVID-19 patients.

“When we start travelling within Fiji, it gives confidence to our international partners that Fiji is safe and ready to welcome them.

“Trust is actually the new currency of the new norm.

“To build that trust, we have to also have to set up COVID-19 guidelines for the industry to adopt this new norm.”

Mr Koya called for a concerted effort to build back a stronger and better Fiji for all Fijians.

“All Fijians need to be big advocates of this campaign of Tourism Fiji.”

He called for more patriotism and to put “our heart where our money is”.

Love Our Locals

Tourism Fiji’s newly launched website LOVEOURLOCALS.COM.FJ and its corresponding Facebook page have secured 60 operators who communicate specials exclusive to Fijian residents.

More tourism operators are expected to sign up, the ministry said.

The two platforms rally behind local restaurants, tour operators and hotels in a show of support for Fiji by supporting Fijian Made products and holidays at home, Mr Koya said.

“The purpose of the campaign was to boost bookings and keep Fijians working during difficult economic times.

“Every dollar spent at a hotel or restaurant goes a long way to keep businesses open, people employed and families fed.”

The campaign calls for Fijians to become greater ambassadors of the Fijian tourism industry, Mr Koya said.

“Just because the (Prime Minister’s)tweet came out this morning, doesn’t mean we reduce anything or increase something at the end of the day,” he said while ruling out even a timeline within which the Government was expected to make an announcement on improved measures of restoring the economy.

“It has to be thought out because it’s not a level play field for anyone around the world.”

It’s a start

Mr Koya said many things formed the recovery programme which would help Fiji’s economic re-entry.

“There’s a lot of work still to do, and we still have to be careful.

“This is why even with our Love Our Locals campaign, we’ve prepared a package that they get with respect to what they offer.

He said the status quo remained intact over restrictions related to COVID-19.

“All operators know that and operate within safe guidelines.

“It’s not just the tourism operators that benefit, but the suppliers.”

The travel bubble

Mr Koya said talks of joining the TransTasman bubble remained in its infancy stages.

First port of entry issues are being sorted out by Australia and New Zealand, he said.

“Anything we do here has an impact on the thought of how they think of us.

“In terms of us joining the bubble, it’s still work in progress.

“It’s a very carefully thought out process about when we do open, how we open, first point of entry.

“That’s still a lot of work to do.”

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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