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‘Fiji Can Be Proud for Being No. 1’

Fiji can be rightly proud for ranking Number One in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Asia travel readiness index, said Tourism Fiji chief executive officer Brent Hill. The finding sees Fiji
20 Apr 2022 11:00
‘Fiji Can Be Proud for Being No. 1’
Fiji Airways cabin crew to one New Zealand. Our COVID-safe protocols, mass vaccination achievement and reopening of borders are some contributing factors to our ranking as Number One in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Asia travel readiness index. Photo: Fiji Airways

Fiji can be rightly proud for ranking Number One in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Asia travel readiness index, said Tourism Fiji chief executive officer Brent Hill.

The finding sees Fiji ranked at the top among 28 Asian countries beating favoured tourism destinations like Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The Economic Intelligence Unit is the publisher of respected and premier publication, The Economist magazine.

 

Malaysia’s, The Star, reported Fiji topped the index list with 1.95, while Sri Lanka had a score similar as Malaysia at 2.15.

Singapore was ranked fifth with 2.45.

The factors that were included in the index were the readiness for international travel, the importance of tourism in their economy, local vaccination coverage, ease of travel and the convenience of returning home.

 

A lower score indicates more favourable conditions.

The findings were published in March end well before Fiji’s April 7 quarantine-free travel to fully-vaccinated travellers from all over the world.

It is a testament to the hard work that the industry and stakeholders have done prior to the December 1 reopening.

 

To date, further visitor arrivals have been boosted following Fiji Airways resumption of flights to and from New Zealand.

The national will operate two direct weekly flights a week from Wellington and Christchurch to Nadi, and daily flights from Auckland.

The national carrier will also service two weekly flights from Christchurch to Fiji.

 

On the resumption of flights to New Zealand, Fiji Airways managing director and Chief Executive Officer said: “As we continue to ramp up our flight schedules across New Zealand, guests can trust our commitment to safety with our award-winning Travel Ready service, Skytrax 5-Star COVID Safety rating and the highest Hospital Grade “Diamond” certification by APEX Health and Safety.”

 

Christchurch Airport chief aeronautical and commercial officer, Justin Watson said: “The direct service out of here has always been popular for South Islanders wanting a tropical holiday.

“The combination of being able to travel more freely and trading autumn weather here for a few days in sunny Fiji makes it the ideal getaway.”

The following are excerpts of responses from some industry stakeholders.

 

Tourism Fiji Chief Executive Officer, Brent Hill.

Tourism Fiji Chief Executive Officer, Brent Hill.

Tourism Fiji
Mr Hill said: “All of these elements have been of real importance to Fiji and the team working on the successful reopening.”

“I applaud all of our team and stakeholders for working together collaboratively to continue to solve the challenges we had, and it has paid off.”

“It is great to see the extensive preparations and easing of protocols being recognised, and our recovery is strong, safe and sustainable.”

 

“This Index was produced by EIU in response to the pandemic and is unique.”

“Fiji can be rightly proud of being no.1 especially as many other Asian Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have talked up their results.”

 

Rosie Holidays, Managing Director, Tony Whitton.

Rosie Holidays, Managing Director, Tony Whitton.

Rosie Holidays & Ahura Resorts
As the managing director of Fiji’s locally-owned and internationally-recognised tourism brands, Rosie Holidays and Ahura Resorts Fiji Islands’ Tony Whitton, says such news was a delight to read.

“As the Managing Director of Rosie Holidays and Likuliku Lagoon and Malolo Island 2022 is lining up to be a phenomenal year for not only our business but also the entire Fiji Tourism Industry,” Mr Whitton said.

“As a sector we have been long suffering. Our people have stayed faithful, patient and most important happy.”

 

“What many don’t realise is to get to this day took a lot of planning that really started in August 2020.”

“Fiji Airways with the support of Government formed a Tourism Task Force comprising of our national airline, Tourism Fiji, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, FHTA and key representatives from the private sector.”

“At the heart of this Task Force was how we can safely re-open our tourism industry to the international markets and slowly get our people back to work and the tourism dollar circulating through our economy again.”

 

“And the fruits of all this planning almost two years later, we are witnessing now with Fiji’s number one ranking.”

“Looking at the big names in this list with huge economies and resources, I am really proud of how a tiny island like Fiji can again shine on the world stage, and be recognized as having the most well-organised Tourism Recovery programme in all of Asia and the Pacific.”

 

Ministry Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali

Ministry Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali

Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport
The Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Shaheen Ali said: “Given the consistent, forward looking and progressive policies of the Fijian Government, we have positioned the tourism industry in preparedness to welcome visitors.

“At the same time providing confidence to our visitors that we are committed to their safety.”

“We were able to do this at the back of our effective National Vaccination campaign, COVID safe protocols for businesses and the Industry-led Care Fiji Commitment.”

“Our stakeholders, such as Fiji Airways, have been certified with the highest level 5-star Airline Safety rating.”

 

“This allowed us to successfully re-open our borders on 1 December 2021, leading to an early recovery for the Industry and the economy.”

“Fiji has very quickly become one of the most preferred tourism destinations.”

We opened well ahead of other destinations.”

“More than ninety five percent of local tourism operators are now open.”

 

“Major brands such as the Marriot (Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay) are reporting bookings at pre-pandemic level.”

“With Fiji now in our peak tourism season, we expect even stronger bookings in the coming months.”

“It is important to note, Fiji’s strategy is not limited to reopening.”

 

“We are focused on ensuring continued and sustainable growth of the industry.”

“Marketing in existing and new source markets remains crucial.”

“In addition, maintaining Fiji’s attractiveness as an ideal investment and business destination is equally important.”

“The recently passed Investment Act strengthens our investment strategy, by providing foreign investors with a clear pathway of investing in Fiji.”

 

About Economic Intelligence Unit
The Economic Intelligence Unit is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, headquartered in London.

It provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports, and industry reports.

 

Feedback: ranobab@fijisun.com.fj



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