Lifting of Containment Zones Restarts Tourism

Lifting of Containment Zones Restarts Tourism

FHTA 20 Sept 2021 – The Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association (FHTA) has praised the efforts of Fijians to get vaccinated levels past 60 percent, which has allowed tourism businesses who have been waiting for these levels to be reached to recommence operations.

During the last five months of various versions of Fiji’s lockdown, many operators have continued to prepare themselves for the announcement whilst being closed or partially closed, even though their staff have been fully vaccinated for some time.

The welcome and much-anticipated news of initially domestic containment areas being lifted on Viti Levu, with the eventual reopening to international travel at 80 percent vaccination levels; the anticipation that this will be reached by Fiji Day, has allowed both tourism operators and the comprehensive supply chains that interact so closely with them to put into motion their own reopening plans.

Last weekend was the first indication of enthusiastic levels of pent-up domestic demand that allowed resorts, transport companies, entertainers, activity providers and others to bring larger numbers of staff back to work and test enhanced COVID-Safe Guidelines within the Care Fiji Commitment (CFC), that will get further strengthened to certification compliance levels by the time Fiji’s borders are opened.

CEO for FHTA, Fantasha Lockington noted that “As we near the 70% and 80% vaccination targets, industry stakeholders are keenly aware that there is still much to do within the short timeframe left that includes ensuring we get things right with our guests in terms of providing our best products, outstanding service and confidence-boosting safety levels. The 2021/2022 budget incentives for tourism have also supported the industry to prepare better.”

FHTA is working closely with Tourism Fiji and the Ministry of Health on getting the CFC to certification level to give our visitors the absolute confidence that Fiji is ready to welcome them back.

With increasing booking interest for future travel for hotel rooms as well as airline seats; excitement is definitely building for what Fiji has to offer as part of a reopening framework FHTA supports that will see a gradual relaxation of restrictions as vaccinations numbers increase and safety protocols become part of the business environment to keep staff, guests and communities safe.

Ms Lockington added, “The response from the local market to help the industry get back on its feet has been the most phenomenal boost tourism needed, and as we move through the phases towards a full reopening, we hope we can continue the momentum for rolling out safer protocols combined with a continued relaxation of restrictions to raise the confidence levels of travellers from our core markets that Fiji really is ready for them.”