Lifestyle

Tourism, Hotel Workers Excited About Getting Back To Work

Many people from our tourism industry were excited to get back to work. With the reopening of the borders around Viti Levu last week, Fiji is on its way to hopefully receive international visitors for its tourism industry in the near future.
20 Sep 2021 13:25
Tourism, Hotel Workers Excited About Getting Back To Work
From L-R: Eta Wakawaka, Kinisimere Domolailai, Pranesh Gounder, and Asilika Namuatiqe.

Many people from our tourism industry were excited to get back to work. With the reopening of the borders around Viti Levu last week, Fiji is on its way to hopefully receive international visitors for its tourism industry in the near future.

Resort worker Eta Wakawaka beamed with excitement when the announcement, made by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, came that Fiji had surpassed the 60 per cent vaccination target.

The mother of five children, who had been working at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau since 2000, has been jobless since last year after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

After spending more than 15 months at home she embraced the PM’s recent news with a ‘must do’ attitude.

The 42-year-old Sabeto, Nadi, native said news on Tourism Fiji’s Domestic Tourism campaign – Love our Locals – to promote tourism from next week, ensures that people are ready when October 4 arrives.

“Many people like myself look forward to the international borders opening towards the end of the year,” Ms Wakawaka said.

“All Fijians must get vaccinated.”

Another woman in the tourism industry, Kinisimere Domolailai, 34, who is the wife of former National 7s rep Apisai Domolailai, has also been at home since March 18, 2020.

“Over a year now due to the pandemic,” she said.

She has been working at the Fiji Hideaway Resort since August 26, 2006, and was among staff members told to update their vaccination status.

“This is good news to be back at work, especially for families who need it,” she said.

“Tourism has multiple effects on our livelihood and we are just awaiting the opening of the international border.”

She agrees with plans not to open quarantine-free travel with the entire world just yet.

Meanwhile, Pranesh Gounder, the former Lomani Island Resort executive chef on Malolo Lailai Island said it was exciting news to hopefully get the international tourists once again.

“It is a good thing to explore, especially during this time,” he said.

Mr Gounder, who has also ventured into a shopping centre business in Mulomulo, Nadi, remains optimistic.

“Perhaps when allowing tourists to come over there should be a mandatory time frame they spend at quarantine,” he suggested.

Lautoka entrepreneur and former chef Zunaid Khan has pledged continuous support to his countrymen.

The 26-year-old was on the go helping needy families in the Western Division when the second COVID-19 wave hit Fiji. He worked as a chef at the Sheraton Fiji Resort and was among those tourism employees who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

Asilika Namuatiqe, who works in the operation/crew department for the internationally recognised Tradewinds Experience Yachts, based at Denarau, has been working on the yachts since September, 2018.

The mother of four children said the news of when international visitors will be allowed to arrive, would be appreciated by all Fijians.

“We all are in need of work, and we are fortunate to have had our second jabs,” said Ms Namuatiqe.

“Our members are mostly from the USA, and we have a reservation for 2022, This is great news to support our Fijian economy.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce 

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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