SUNBIZ | Tourism

Tourism Fiji, Stakeholders, Prepare For Arrival Of Cruise Ship To Suva

The tourism industry and its stakeholders are looking forward to the arrival of cruise ships in Suva. The first ship to Suva, after the global pandemic, is expected to arrive towards the end of September.
15 Sep 2022 05:00
Tourism Fiji, Stakeholders, Prepare For Arrival Of Cruise Ship To Suva
Weta Hiramatsu at her stall in the Suva Handicraft centre. Photo: Laisa Lui

The tourism industry and its stakeholders are looking forward to the arrival of cruise ships in Suva.

The first ship to Suva, after the global pandemic, is expected to arrive towards the end of September.

Tourism Fiji chief executive officer Brent Hill said the industry was excited as they geared up to take advantage of these cruise boats and their large number of tourists.

 

“Working together is key,” Mr Hill said.

“We have such a large diversity of transport and marine providers who offer a variety of tours some of which include unique shopping experiences like village handicrafts sellers, visitation to local town and city market vendors as well as local handicrafts stalls.

“Tourism Fiji has always encouraged collaboration amongst all stakeholders across the tourism industry and cruise ships are no different.

 

“The Pacific Explorer is the first of many more ships to arrive in Fiji and our industry and communities will need to be cruise ready,” he said.

“This essentially means dialogue needs to take place between our operators and tourism bodies across this sector.”

Meanwhile, vendors at the handicraft centre in Suva have raised their concerns regarding competitions they face when cruise ships arrive.

 

Vendor, Bir Vijay Anand said unlike before, nowadays, visitors do not visit the centre anymore.

He said tourists were being directed to other shops that sell handicrafts.

“We had a fair chance before this competition came in and we’re trying very hard to make ends meet,” Mr Anand said.

“Everyone wants to make money, as we’re all struggling but for us, the arrival of these cruise ships would mean big sales.

“I hope a schedule is done so that everyone has a fair share.”

 

 

Mr Anand said they were operating at a loss.

They can only earn $20-$50 a day.

“But getting the news that cruise ships are coming in, gives us hope,” he said.

 

Another vendor, Weta Hiramatsu has witnessed more than 100 cruise ships come into the country.

She has been a vendor at the centre since 2003.

“We are looking forward to the next cruise ship and we expect a good turnout and good sales.”

“We will make enough supplies and hope that our stalls will be filled with tourists,” Ms Hiramatsu said.

“Apart from visiting the shops and whisking away by tour operators, I hope this year will be different,” she said.

 

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj



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