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Love Our Locals: Local Support Help Tourism Return: Brent Hill

An estimate of about 50 – 60 percent of tourism workers have returned to work. With more resorts and hotels opening up as COVID restrictions ease, Tourism Fiji says the support of locals towards the tourism industry is important.
25 Feb 2022 16:24
Love Our Locals: Local Support Help Tourism Return: Brent Hill
Staff of Wyndham Resort in Denarau welcoming tourists at Nadi International Airport. Photo: Leon Lord.

An estimate of about 50 – 60 percent of tourism workers have returned to work.

With more resorts and hotels opening up as COVID restrictions ease, Tourism Fiji says the support of locals towards the tourism industry is important.

Chief executive officer Brent Hill said tourism was such an integral part of Fiji’s economy and such support goes a long way for tourism workers.

 

“Many businesses either rely solely on tourism or tourism provides that extra bump on their earnings, so supporting our tourism sector is supporting a really wide range of jobs and helping more and more of our people get back into work,” he said.

The pick-up in tourism has been reflected in occupancy rates for rates as Mr Hill revealed that February has already recorded 40 percent occupancy rate.

Mr Hill said logistically, the easing of COVID restrictions had been an important step for tourists.

 

“For example, with early flights from Nadi, and needing to be at the airport early, it makes things easier for transport operators bringing people from Suva, the Coral Coast etc to Nadi very early in the morning,” he said.

“But also, it’s great for those guys who have been doing it really tough too – the bars, taverns and the like – the later night economy.

“They are really committed to offering safe, fun environments, and I know they are really appreciating the extra flexibility of the curfew coming down, while maintaining the safe protocols and adhering to the advice to keep everyone safe.”

 

Occupancy Rate
While February is traditionally a quieter period, he said it has given hotels and resorts an opportunity to plan ahead.

“That’s actually not too bad a thing for us, as we’re still ticking along nicely, but it gives a lot of businesses the opportunity to train up staff, follow protocols, get things in order after the real rush of December and January, and to prepare for March onwards, as we build into the high season.”

“The good thing for locals is that in February, given its a little quieter, there are good deals and prices available,” Mr Hill said.

 

Fiji is seeing more tourists visiting the country for the first time which Mr Hill described as a good thing.

Mr Hill adds that tourists still expect an amazing holiday from Fiji because of the images and footage of Fiji tourists see.

“They want to get out and explore and they want to eat at nice restaurants and experience our culture,” he said.

 

“So that’s good news for our restaurants and chefs, for our cultural experiences like the wonderful VOU Dance Hub, and for those smaller tourism experiences – the Drua experience, the Go Dirty quad bikes, the tours – to offer their services.”

“I’m also really excited to see new product like TJs in Nadi, and the beach markets in Wailoaloa that are offering new things for tourists to do while they’re here – that’s great.”

He added that there had also been a growing interest from tourists heading out to other islands and to the North.

 

“It’s been really pleasing to hear that our luxury and boutique island luxury product is doing really well too – we are attracting groups and families booking residences which is great, and good for Fiji to attract this type of customer to us.”

 

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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