SUNBIZ

Love Our Locals’ Campaign Successful

This was the revelation made by Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya in Parliament.
07 Sep 2020 14:03
Love Our Locals’ Campaign Successful
Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

The Love Our Locals’ (LOL) campaign has been successful, and businesses across the country have taken advantage of this initiative.

This was the revelation made by Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya in Parliament.

Mr Koya was responding to a question by Member of Parliament Alexander O’Connor on the ministry’s update on the ‘Love our Locals’ campaign.

Love Our Local’s campaign was an initiative to build consumer confidence and ignite economic activity in the tourism sector.

“This initiative has allowed many tourism operators to remain in business and continue to employ Fijians,” Mr Koya said.

Above all, he said the campaign had served as a beacon of hope.

“The Love Our Locals’ campaign is proving to be incredibly successful,” he said.

Mr Koya said close to 100 tourism operators around Fiji have joined the campaign with a number of tourism-related businesses, such as tours, entertainment and activity providers also taking advantage of the initiative.

Occupancy rates

He said hotel occupancy rates had averaged approximately 55 per cent, when historically, off peak season recorded average occupancy rates of 30 per cent.

“This 55 per cent occupancy doesn’t take into account the growing local Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market.”

He said the website, the LOL Facebook page, which is the primary platform for offering packages and deals, had gained significant traction.

“Within two months, the LOL Facebook group recorded membership of 9,273 with 5,000 new members in two weeks,” he said.

Mr Koya said they don’t expect domestic consumption to completely fill the void left by international travel, in the industry.

“We’re optimistic the LOL campaign will continue to cushion the impact as much as possible,” he said.

“This will not only ensure businesses remain open, but Fijians can return to work, farmers slowly start supplying to hotels and local artists, who predominantly relied on tourism, have a source of income.”

Room booking statistics for July 2020:

  • Outrigger – 975 room nights
  • Shangri-La – 553 room nights
  • Fiji Gateway Resort –693 room nights
  • Kula Adventure Park – 880 visitors
  • River Tubing Fiji – 320 bookings

He said these figures were commendable and was evident in the sentiments these businesses have shared in being able to welcome back visitors after being closed.

Outrigger Fiji Resort

Around 200 staff members of the Outrigger Fiji Resort have resumed work as a result of this campaign, he said.

“These employees are working more than three days a week, with most of them on full time duties,” he said.

He said the resort had also reported that weekends in July were sold out and the restaurant sales exceeded the room night’s revenue, the first time in their history.

Adding a number of operators are reporting full occupancy on weekends and continue to offer more specials on the weekdays to entice weekday travel.

“The LOL campaign has served us well in putting to test the new normal,” he said.

“We’re using this time to prepare for when borders open. We all know restoring traveller confidence and stimulating demand safely is critical at this time, so we are being proactive.”

The LOL campaign initiative was launched in June.

Feedback: lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj

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