Tourism industry cautiously optimistic

Budget Revenue Policies

FHTA 18 July 2022 – The 2022/23 National Budget provides more private sector confidence with the announcement that the numerous taxation and fiscal policy measures that were introduced in prior National Budgets would continue with a few minor changes.

The tourism industry, having just reopened in December 2021 after almost 2 years of closure with limited to no revenue streams, has worked closely with the Government to recover successfully from the global pandemic, natural disasters and global economic pressures.

Navigating and emerging out of these multi-pronged crises has required great fortitude and showed that innovation and agility could and did, provide the outstanding results of reopening our borders safely as one of the first Pacific Island countries to do so at the time, while simultaneously bringing thousands of our people back into much-needed employment.

The Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association (FHTA) applauds the range of initiatives announced that will continue to enhance and support private sector-led recovery efforts; that include improving the ease and cost of business, government agency digitization and resource support, immigration policy changes and refocusing on infrastructure development, amongst others.

FHTA chief executive officer Fantasha Lockington said, “We are acutely aware of the current need for private sector business confidence especially now, coming off a once-in-a-lifetime perfect storm of crisis upon crisis. Visitor numbers might be currently high, but there is widespread nervousness about another COVID variant re-emerging, the Russia-Ukraine war further disrupting trade and driving prices further up, our usual climate-based risks that never quite go away and even the impending Fijian elections.”

“Tourism businesses and the comprehensive supply chain businesses inextricably connected to the industry will be better able to continue their recovery momentum with renewed confidence based on this Budget’s promise to create certainty by retaining almost all of the current tax structure and address overdue economic growth obstacles, so that the industry can fully recover, further invest, create more jobs and focus on competing more fiercely as a preferred travel destination,” she adds.