Editorial

Path To Economic Recovery Becomes Clearer With Exciting Future For Tourism Sector

The unmistakable joint sentiments by our tourism leaders and stakeholders on Sunday saying that the sector is ready makes the months of pushing to increase vaccination against COVID-19 even more worthwhile.
13 Oct 2021 16:56
Path To Economic Recovery Becomes Clearer With Exciting Future For Tourism Sector

Exciting times are ahead for the tourism sector.

With international borders reopening in November added to the cheap flights that Fiji Airways introduced, aptly so as we approach the festive season, we are on track to revitalise our economy once again.

The unmistakable joint sentiments by our tourism leaders and stakeholders on Sunday saying that the sector is ready makes the months of pushing to increase vaccination against COVID-19 even more worthwhile.

At this stage, we know that many Australians have already made that first step of booking flights to Fiji.

An article on ABC yesterday outlined how a Sydney resident, Lisa Thwaite, said booking a family trip to Fiji felt surreal.

Ms Thwaite said Fiji had always been on her bucket list of places to travel, and when Australian airlines started advertising flights to the islands last month she didn’t hesitate. She is among a growing number of Australians booking holidays here.

No doubt, the Fijian diaspora will also be taking advantage of the offer after spending months being cooped up in their homes overseas.

So, what does this mean to an ordinary Fijian and its flow-on effect?

It means that a Mere or Jone can finally go back to work after months of being sent on unpaid leave because the outer island resort he/she was working in was shut since the pandemic hit last year.

It would mean that he or she can:

  • Add more to their shopping cart on a regular basis;
  • Take more frequent bus or taxi rides to run errands;
  • Pay off that hire purchase arrears which the said company constantly sends a reminder from SMS;
  • Pay off utility bills;
  • Revisit the bank and advise them to readjust loan deductions;
  • Update wardrobe, visit the barber or hair salon to change give you a new look.

The above and more could well be taking place as you read this editorial, if not in the near future.

And it’s only a matter of time until Jone fine tunes his ukulele or guitar and Mere gathers her choir group to sing those familiar welcoming iTaukei chants. Or both waving at new international guests with that oh so familiar ‘Bula Smile’.

It is only a matter of time too when visitor arrivals will be up and spending more to generate our economy.

When money is being exchanged, a bank account is opened or payment becomes consistent and more, this flow-on effect is what economic recovery means.

But all this would be futile if we let our guards down. We have seen so many of this examples globally. We cannot compromise our COVID-safe protocols lest we go down again into that winding road of economic downturn.

Feedbackranobab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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