Politics

Minister Koya Gives ‘Love Our Locals’ Campaign Thumbs Up

What started off with hotels putting out specials for locals, the minister said it had encouraged tour and activity providers and transfers, as well as restaurateurs to join the campaign.
24 Mar 2021 09:10
Minister Koya Gives ‘Love Our Locals’ Campaign Thumbs Up
Minister for Trade and Acting Attorney General Faiyaz Koya (from left), Assistant Minister forn Employment Alvick Maharaj and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama outside Parliament on March 23, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The success of the ‘Love Our Locals’ tourism campaign last year has seen 200 businesses signing up for it, says the Minister for Tourism, Faiyaz Koya.

Highlighting Fiji’s COVID-19 recovery efforts for the tourism industry, Mr Koya said the campaign was a key part of the tourism sector.

What started off with hotels putting out specials for locals, the minister said it had encouraged tour and activity providers and transfers, as well as restaurateurs to join the campaign.

“The local tourism market will be part of Tourism Fiji’s marketing strategies also even after the borders open and based on the growing success of our ‘Love Our Locals’, we are now embarking on the Pacific as a key source market and the preliminary focus will be to capitalise on existing leisure segment with the outlook of developing meetings, conventions and events,” Mr Koya said.

“We have also had the local events fund and the adaptation of the current local events fund is another initiative we are working on with the business community.”

Preparation by the tourism response team, he said was largely attributed to how Fijians had come together to ramp up co-ordination.

“In terms of budget relief, our historic 2020-2021 National Budget has undoubtedly been the driving force for most of our recovery effort and Government has directly paid a $118 million in unemployment benefit, which has largely gone to the tourism sector,” he said.

“The new tax incentives also in the budget have kept the confidence of domestic investors and tourists arrival and we are actually realising the benefits.”

Mr Koya updated Parliament that Fiji had received global recognition by the World Travel and Tourism Council, which recognises entities that have adopted health and hygiene protocols aligned with the Council’s Global Safe Travels Protocols.

“This may seem just like word but it is actually a very important component in terms of people making decisions about when travel does open and they actually get to Fiji. So, to date, we have registered nearly 200 wellness ambassadors across the industry with about 400 businesses signed up,” he said.

To date, Fiji has welcomed 103 yachts and 438 passengers and crew under the Blue Lane initiative at the Port Denarau Marina in Denarau, Nadi.

Mr Koya said the ministry was also working on designating Savusavu as an additional port of entry for yachts.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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