2021 FHTA Annual General Meeting & Tourism Talanoa

2021 FHTA Annual General Meeting & Tourism Talanoa

The Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association (FHTA) has successfully held its 56th Annual General Meeting on Friday 12 November 2021.
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 lobbying and activities and took the opportunity to raise queries and vote in new board members.

Brian Kirsch of Likuri Island Resort was voted back in as the FHTA President. He will be assisted by Vice Presidents, Tammie Tam of Warwick Hotels & Resorts and Narend Kumar of Tanoa Hotel Group.

“The past year and a half have been the most challenging for the tourism industry in Fiji. But we have made sure that the downtime has been used industriously and have been involved in supporting our members to survive the crisis as well as the planning and implementation of the new COVID-safe protocols.

This has included supporting members in navigating a broad range of issues from keeping our employees and customers safe, managing cash flows, reorienting operations in the new normal to planning for the border reopening,” the re-elected FHTA President, Brian Kirsch noted.

These challenges, he said, were addressed in various forms and FHTA endeavoured to support its membership in continuing to address these, providing clarity and advice on constantly changing situations and ensuring that communication was efficient and proactive, which was even more critical for the Association to provide.

Other new board appointments were: Josephine Smith (Musket Cove Resort), James McCann (Yasawa Island Resort), Adam Wade (Vuda Marina), and Brad Rutherford (South Sea Island Cruises).

The full 16-member board will take the helm in tourism’s preparation for reopening on 1 December, making a comeback from the most difficult period that the industry has ever faced.

After the FHTA AGM, a Tourism Talanoa panel discussion took place and included the Permanent Secretary of Health Dr James Fong and the Permanent Secretary of Tourism Shaheen Ali. They joined Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill, APTC Acting Country Director for APTC Gareth McGrath, Fiji Airways Executive Manager Digital Channels & Tourism Partnerships Akuila Batiweti, FHTA President Brian Kirsch and CEO Fantasha Lockington to address reopening plans, training, flights and booking information with questions from online and in-person tourism stakeholders for the session.

FHTA has been actively planning for the return to business and has supported the drafting of the Reopening Framework that will govern how accommodation providers and other tourism businesses will cater to guests in a safe and consistent manner.

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 to 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.