The Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association (FHTA) has successfully held its 55th Annual General Meeting on Thursday27 August.
Held at the Radisson Blu Resort, the AGM was well-attended by members and associate members who heard a recap of the Association’s past twelve months of activities and took the opportunity to raise queries and vote in new board members.
Brian Kirsch of Robinson Crusoe Island Resort has been unanimously voted in as the FHTA President and he will be assisted by Vice Presidents, Tammie Tam of Warwick Resorts and Tarun Patel of the Vision Group.
“The last twelve months have been extraordinarily challenging for our industry, and our members are still navigating a broad range of issues that range from keeping our employees and customers safe, managing cash flows, reorienting operations in the new normal to planning for reopening in a still unknown timeframe”, the elected FHTA President, Brian Kirsch noted.
He added that supporting the membership in addressing these challenges, providing clarity and advice on constantly changing situations and ensuring that communication was efficient and proactive, was even more critical for the Association to provide now, more than ever.
Other new board appointments were: Lachlan Walker (Intercontinental Hotel Group), Brad Robinson (Raffe Hotels & Resorts), Robert Speed (Captain Cook Cruises Fiji), Viliame Vodonaivalu (Grand Pacific Hotel/FNPF Properties) and Azam Khan (Hexagon Group of Hotels).
The full 16-member board will take the helm in tourism’s fightback during the most difficult period that the industry has ever faced.
However, buoyed by Government’s targeted relief from import and excise duties as well as reforms in its tax structures from the National Budget, FHTA has been actively planning for the return to business pending the restart of global commercial travel.
FHTA firmly believes that there are unique opportunities to invigorate the economy by introducing policies that provide stimulus and accelerate growth by incentivising job retention, sustaining tourism SME’s and protecting vulnerable groups, while also promoting more investment in the industry.
FHTA CEO, Fantasha Lockington said the Association continues drive efforts to create opportunities, consult widely and lobby strongly for its members by liaising with relevant Government Ministries, agencies and statutory bodies to ensure that all tourism businesses get the support they need to develop in the industry and grow the economy.