Temporary closure of Outer Island Airports

Temporary closure of Outer Island Airports

Fiji Airports Media Release 30th January, 2020

Fiji Airports is continuing to invest in our Outer Island Airports to help improve air connectivity for all Fijians and the wider tourism
industry.
As part of our ongoing Outer Island Airports Development Programme the following airports will be temporarily closed for runway upgrades:

Bureta (Levuka): November 11- November 28, 2019
Lakeba: December 4- December 10, 2019
Vunisea (Kadavu): February 6 – March 26, 2020
Labasa: April 20 – May 5, 2020

Labasa apron works will continue through to July 10 and will require flight scheduling management.We would like to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to the travelling public.We are doing this maintenance work to improve the services to you!

Please click below for other Media Releases from Fiji Airports

MEDIA RELEASE 13122019

MEDIA RELEASE 29112019

 

FRCS Board of Directors Announces the establishment of Advisory Committees

FRCS Board of Directors Announces the establishment of Advisory Committees

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service Board of Directors announced the resolution to establish a Business Advisory Committee and a Technical Committee to assist the Board in overseeing the service delivery of FRCS.

In announcing this resolution by the Board in their first seating today at FRCS Complex in Suva, the Chair Ms. Fay Yee acknowledged the input and guidance of the Business Review Committee established by Government and Maxumise Fiji Ltd who conducted independent customer and staff surveys. To better understand the FRCS Operations, the Board also met with the Executive Leadership Team and Senior Managers and heard first-hand their respective business unit roles and service deliveries.Read more…

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association on the Coronavirus Outbreak in China

FHTA

Suva, 29 January 2020 – The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) has been closely liaising with the Ministry of Tourism and tourism industry stakeholders to carefully monitor the Coronavirus’ current and potential impact on visitor arrivals from China and other countries as the virus moves out of Asia.

FHTA members, along with industry stakeholders are working together to support travellers affected by the Chinese Government suspension of outbound group travel by allowing flexibility with rebookings with no fees to be applied subject to specific travel conditions.

The Association is maintaining its communication channels with tourism industry businesses and suppliers and is providing guidance and assistance where required, including reminders on safe hygiene practices and recommended
reporting of any suspicious cases.

FHTA is aware that the Government is working on strengthening Fiji’s border security and strongly recommends that this includes thermal inbound screening processes for all inbound flights to ensure we maintain a consistent vigilance on this medical emergency from all possible directions.

FHTA Member Advice No. 2 on Cancellations due to Coronavirus

FHTA
29 January 2020
Chinese Market Travel Cancellations.
Members are reminded that with Chinese Government’s current suspension of group travel out of China and the notice here from the China Association of Travel Services, and to support the Ministry of Health taking the prescribed cautionary approach to initiate preventive measures to deal with Coronavirus, FHTA advises members as follows:
1. Recommended Practice for Bookings and Cancellations
1. For Guests who have not yet arrived in the country
a) Should Guests cancel their travel then normal cancellation fees apply.
b) Should Guests postpone their travel i.e. rebook for new dates:
  • This should only be for bookings confirmed before 24 Jan 2020 for stays between 24 January and 29 February 2020 
  • Allow rebooking up to 31 October 2020 based on space available
  • Allow guest bookings to be redone till 10 February 2020 and waive applicable rate differences
2. For Guests who are in the country and No Shows
Failure to arrive at the booked hotel should be treated as per the hotel’s normal cancellation/no show policy. Guests should be able to claim against their travel insurance. If they have no travel insurance, that is their conscious decision and they take the risk.
This recommendation reminder is provided to allow consistency and to minimise confusion among our partners.
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The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association further advises members to stay alert to news of the virus. As well, please ensure staff are practicing the recommended safety and good hygiene procedures and immediately isolate and report any suspected cases of the virus by calling the following numbers:
Central 2219905 | Eastern 2219906 | Western 2219907 | Northern 2219908
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Media Release 4: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Dated: 28/01/2020
‘Rapid public health detection and response systems the best protection against novel coronavirus’
The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services is closely monitoring the current outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 – nCoV) in China and is continuing its efforts to prepare for its potential introduction to Fiji. At present there are no confirmed cases of 2019 – nCoV in Fiji, or any other Pacific island country.

What is Fiji doing?

In response to the increased threat of 2019 – nCoV, the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services is working closely with relevant Government ministries, World Health Organization and partners to enhance its public health systems to rapidly detect, test and respond if a case is identified in Fiji.  This is because international spread of the disease is best stopped by rapid containment efforts at the source, and early detection and response, not by implementing unnecessary restrictions to international travel. Travel bans have been proven to be ineffective in stopping infectious diseases crossing borders, and may in fact worsen the impact of an outbreak. Fiji did not impose travel bans during the SARS epidemic in 2003 nor the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) pandemic in 2009. Most countries worldwide have not implemented travel bans in response to this outbreak in China, and they are not recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Alongside other countries globally, including New Zealand, Australia and the United States, Fiji has intensified efforts to reduce the risk of the virus being introduced and spreading in Fiji through a multilayered approach, including early identification of cases at the international borders and in the community, targeted awareness for high-risk persons, in particular travelers visiting or returning from affected areas, and enhancing the skills and resources of our health staff to rapidly respond if a case is identified.
As a core part of Fiji’s preparedness for possible introduction of the virus, the Ministry is working with international border control stakeholders, including airlines and airport and port authorities, to enhance existing mechanisms to detect ill travelers at international points of entry. Under Fijian legislation, airlines and vessels are required to report any ill passengers prior to disembarking. All travellers arriving on flights from Hong Kong and Singapore undergo additional health screening. And as an added health screening measure, all incoming passengers will soon be required to complete s supplementary arrivals card – an Arrival Health Declaration Form- to help ensure all travelers are checked for their potential exposure to the virus.
On Wednesday 29 January, the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services will begin providing refresher training to health workers on infection prevention and control measures, ensuring they are aware and equipped with the correct procedures and protective wear to safely respond to any potential cases.

What can you do?

Whilst we await further information about this new disease, at this time the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services wishes to remind the public that staying calm and continuing to practice good hygiene is important in helping to protect them against many diseases.
This includes:
  • Frequently cleaning hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • Avoid non-essential travel to mainland China
  • If you have been to China in the last 14 days and develop any of the symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), immediately contact one of the numbers listed below. If you need to see a doctor please call ahead, using the following phone numbers, before visiting to reduce the risk of infecting other patients.
Central 2219905 | Eastern 2219906 | Western 2219907 | Northern 2219908
The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services is monitoring the developing situation and will provide updates regularly to the public.
Source: Ministry of Health & Medical Services
End.

Importations of Telecommunication Equipments

Importations of Telecommunication Equipments

In Pursuant to Section 55 (4) of the Telecommunications Promulgation 2008; “A person who intends to import any telecommunication equipment or apparatus including radio transmitting devices, other than equipment exempted by regulations, shall obtain an import permit from the authority”.

Under the requirements of the above mentioned legislation, for a person who intends to import telecommunications equipment shall obtain an Import Permit from the Telecommunications Authority of Fiji (TAF).

To be safe for all parties, it is therefore prudent to abide by the current legislation, and it is advisable for applicants to apply for an import permit in advance, as and when the shipment is ready to be shipped from overseas, this service also offers government revenue and satisfies our stakeholders on their permit application needs.

Importations of telecommunication equipments into the country shall require an Import Permit. This process ensures that equipments imported into the country comply with the technical rules and standards enforced by the TAF. Monitoring of imported telecommunications equipment ensures that Fiji is not a dumping ground for non standard compliance manufactured equipments.

IMPORT PERMIT PROCEDURE

The requirements provided below are mandatory and must be fulfilled prior to the issuance of import permit(s) for importation of mobiles and radio communication devices to be type approved in Fiji.

1.      Reception of import permit application which contains;

a.      All technical documentations and invoices of equipment(s) in soft or hard copy.

b.      To enable TAF to issue an import permit, we require provision of brand, model and serial numbers for all mobile phones and radio communication(s) devices for assessment before an import permit can be issued.

2.      Application fee of FJ$10.90 per model /type approval is paid.

3.      An import permit fee is levied on all telecommunication and radio communication equipment imported into Fijii. A fee applies to each model assessed for type approval in respect of the telecommunication promulgation 2008 and the telecommunication (Amendments) Regulation 2008.

4.      A fee is charged on each equipment assessment that TAF undertakes in response to an application request. This applies to each model assessed and for which a type approval is issued. That fee is $10.90 irrespective of the number of individual handsets associated with that model. As such, a fee is charged on the different types of equipment (models) provided for processing. This is outlined on “section29” of the telecommunication (amendments) regulation 2008 (License fee schedule), “for a single request to import radio communication”.

5.      Lead time for such approval is 1 to 2 days.

6.      Payment can be done at:

a.  All Post Fiji outlets using TMO (Telegraphic Money Order) to: GOVERNMENT BUILDING POST OFFICE ONLY.
After sending the money please fax the TMO receipt and the filled Application form to fax number +679 3310110 or email the scanned TMO receipt and filled Application form to tafengineering@taf.org.fj

b.  TAF office located at Level 1, 76 Gordon Street, Suva. Fiji.

        7.     Online payments are accepted.

8.     The import permit(s) can be faxed upon request or collected from TAF office.

Attached: Application Form for Import Permit

Source: Telecommunications Authority of Fiji

NZ virus case may mean ban on Pacific flights, government told

The Fiji Times – Wednesday 29th January, 2020.

Health experts are urging the government to take steps to prevent the ‘export’ of infectious diseases to the Pacific, including considering halting all air travel to the region if the Wuhan coronavirus arrives in New Zealand.

There are fears the coronavirus could spell a repeat of an epidemic of measles that spread from New Zealand to Samoa, where it has killed 83 people and made nearly 6000 ill since October.Read more…

Tourist cancellations

Tourist cancellations

Fiji Times – Tuesday January 28,2020.

THE Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) says it is closely working with its members to address the impact of tourist cancellations expected out of China after the Chinese government’s ban on outbound travel because of the novel coronavirus. So far the deadly virus which emerged in Wuhan, China, last week has claimed 81 lives and has spread to countries as far away as the US.There are 50 cases in 13 areas outside of China, including the US which has recorded five confirmed cases. Read more…

Unless we change building codes in Fiji, cost of cyclone and natural disaster insurance is going up – Mohammed

Unless we change building codes in Fiji, cost of cyclone and natural disaster insurance is going up – Mohammed

Fiji Village – Tuesday 28th January, 2020.

The cost of the cyclone and natural disaster insurance for Fiji is going up and unless we change the building codes in Fiji, buying cyclone insurance will be very difficult.

This has been highlighted by Aon (Fiji) Pte Limited General Manager, Sahreena Mohammed while the Fiji Insurance Brokers Association was making a submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on the Reserve Bank of Fiji 2018 Annual Report.Read more…

Das clarifies role

Das clarifies role

Fiji Times – Tuesday 28th January,2020.

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Service says it does not make policy, however, it plays a vital role in policy implementation.

CEO Visvanath Das informed representatives from the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association at the recent proposed Value Added Tax Bill of 2020 consultation that there was need to understand that different agencies had vital roles to play in Government’s move to digitalise the Fijian economy.Read more…

 

Fiji among top 15 improvers

Fiji among top 15 improvers

Fiji Times – Tuesday 28th January,2020.

THE introduction of five days of paid maternity leave and the increase in duration of paid maternity leave from 84 to 98 days as per the Employment Relations (Budget Amendment) Act 2018 has put Fiji among the top 15 global improvers, according to a study by the World Bank.

The study, Women Business and the Law 2020, measures 190 economies, tracking how laws affect women at different stages in their working lives and focusing on those laws applicable in the main business city.Read more…

Fiji attends 9th Meeting of the UNWTO Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness

Fiji attends 9th Meeting of the UNWTO Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness

Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism – Tuesday 28th January, 2020.

Fiji and the Pacific region, was for the first time represented at the 9th meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness (CTC), in its capacity as a member representing the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP).

Fiji expressed its candidature to the CTC for the period of 2019-2023, occupying the one seat allocated to the UNWTO CAP by the decision of its 53rd meeting in Bhutan on 4 June 2019.Read more…

Samoa Airways crew get their wings back

Samoa Airways crew get their wings back

Samoa Airways – Tuesday January 28,2020.

Nineteen flight attendants for Samoa Airways have successfully completed the Air Malindo Cabin Crew certification training test and are cleared to work on board the leased aircraft.

This is a welcome milestone for Samoa Airways as they move to transition more of their Samoa crew on board the Air Malindo aircraft while the airline await the outcome of the ongoing inquiry into Boeing’s Max 737 aircrafts.

The 10 day certification test included an intense 5 day practicum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has a reputation in the industry for being tough and thorough with a strong focus on emergency and safety management training.Read more…

Expect ‘abundance of jellyfish’ around Fiji

Expect ‘abundance of jellyfish’ around Fiji

Fiji Times – Monday 27th January, 2020.

WITH the increasing water temperatures as a result of climate change, members of the public have been advised to expect an abundance of jellyfish in waters around the country.

Responding to questions from this newspaper, the Ministry of Fisheries said in a statement that the two species of jellyfishes found in Fiji were Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis – not a true jellyfish but a carnivore) and box jellyfish (Chironex sp) that can deliver fatal stings but are regarded as rare in Fiji.Read more…

Sofitel’s $30M Facelift

Sofitel’s $30M Facelift

Fiji Sun – Monday 27th January,2020.

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa’s $30 million refurbishments will set this renowned resort apart from many other resorts in Fiji. The latest area under refurbishment is the arrival area at the entrance, foyer and reservations and with the images showing what the transformation would look like, the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa will surely set itself apart from major tourist destinations in Fiji.Read more…

Resorts hailed for conservation

Tavarua Island Resort

The Fiji Times – 24 January, 2020

Hotels and resorts contribute greatly to Fiji’s marine conservation efforts, says Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau.

During a recent visit to Tavarua Island Resort in the Mamanuca Group, Mr Koroilavesau said the ministry had been trying its best to restock reefs around the country that had depleted resources.

Mr Koroilavesau said through their many co-operations with resorts around the country, they had achieved this task.

Read the original article here.

Tourism Fiji Announces First Bulanaires for 2020!

Tourism Fiji Announces First Bulanaires for 2020!

Media Release – 24 January 2020

Tourism Fiji is excited to announce Mr Amos Abhishek Daniel of Captain Cook Cruises Fiji as its first Bulanaire for 2020! Phase two of the campaign launched in November 2019 following the success of the Bulanaires 2019 campaign.

Phase two of the program has been extended to Fiji’s tourism operators to nominate a member of their team to become a Bulanaire and participate directly in the campaign.

Amos was nominated by Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Managing Director, Ms. Jacqueline Charlton who said, “He is the most passionate, articulate and dedicated Marine Biologist. He has the big bula smile and goes above and beyond to ensure our passengers have a fun, meaningful experience in Fiji.

Ms Charlton added, “He has worked with us since completing his studies and thrown himself into life aboard Reef Endeavour and at Tivua Island by not only guiding and lecturing to our passengers about the ocean, but also participating with the crew in Cultural dance and activities. This is illustrated by constant mentions by name in our feedback forms and online review forums.”

Amos, who hails from the soccer-crazed town of Ba in the Western Division, is the eldest in his family and has two other siblings. When asked what’s the best part of his job, Amos replied, “Teaching guests more about the ocean and seeing the excitement on their faces when they go snorkelling or diving and can identify the various fish or coral that they have learnt about. It’s really very rewarding for me to be able to impart that knowledge and share that with guests.”

Tourism Fiji Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Matthew Stoeckel said, “We’re excited to have Amos as our first Bulanaire and look forward to working with him and the team at Captain Cook Cruises Fiji this year. We cannot wait to share Fiji’s Bula Spirit with the world through our Bulanaires Campaign and celebrate the amazing role they play in our tourism industry.”

The selected Bulanaires will work with Tourism Fiji to help share the ‘Bula Spirit’ with the world and reinforce why Fiji is the place where happiness finds you. To nominate a Bulanaire, please visit fiji.travel/Bulanaires.

About Us: Tourism Fiji, is the Fijian government’s agency responsible for marketing Fiji as the ideal destination for leisure travel to the world, with a view to maximise the number of visitors to Fiji. Tourism Fiji has established a presence in eight key markets around the globe and its activities include advertising, public relations and media programs, trade shows and programs for the tourism industry and consumer

For more information please contact:

Ellen Magnus
Tourism Fiji
Communications Coordinator
Mobile: (679) 7777912
Work: (679) 6722433
Email: estolz@tourismfiji.com.fj

FHTA Membership Update on LTA Requirements for Tourism Courtesy Bus Licensing

FHTA
22 January 2020 – The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) has been in on-going discussions with the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) senior management since October 2019 on their new interpretation of an existing LTA regulation that now makes it illegal for courtesy vans with more than 8 seats or less than 16 seats to operate as courtesy pick up vans.
 FHTA’s key role has always been to ensure our members are assisted to comply with regulations and where they do not; to find a way to ensure that they can comply by working with the relevant authorities. This supports your business so that you can continue to contribute positively to the tourism industry and Fiji’s economy.
FHTA has been advised by LTA that in the recent review of the interpretation of the Land Transport Act (Sections 53(b), (ii) & Section 63(3),(d)&(e)) it was determined that tourism was not considered when the Act was initially put into place and therefore requires legislation amendments that the industry must await.
 The Ministry of Tourism is providing their sincere support to the industry in trying to find a solution and the Association has also reached out to the Ministry of Transport and the Board of LTA for their assistance.
 In the meantime, members are advised that their courtesy vans that fall into this category will not be provided with the required “B” license plates to pick up or drop off customers and staff or be allowed entry passes for AFL’s airport bus bays.
 We understand that this will cause disruptions to your guest services, however FHTA recommends complete compliance of the requirement by not using any courtesy vans in this category where licensing has not been approved by LTA and to make alternative arrangements where possible with appropriate explanations provided to guests and customers.

Please contact me directly for queries or questions on the above.