13 Dec 2006

Fiji hotels target locals as foreigners stay away

3:19 pm on 13 December 2006

The Fiji Hotel Association is now targeting locals at it struggles to stay afloat in the face of plunging tourist arrivals.

The association president, Dixon Seeto, says they are changing strategy because of the number of cancellations and empty hotel rooms.

Radio Legend quotes Mr Seeto as saying they would target any market which would fill up those rooms and the local market at a time of school holidays is a very strong segment of that market.

He says they will use discounted pricing to try and resurrect the business and attract visitors back to Fiji.

Mr Seeto says families in the capital city who are worried about a confrontation between the military and its opponents have already booked themselves into hotels in the west.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Clothing Textile and Footwear Council is appealing to Australia and New Zealand not to impose trade sanctions on the country because it would only result in more job losses.

A spokesman, Mark Hallabe, says they are holding talks with unions and governments in both countries not to take this step.

Employment in Fiji's garment industry is already below 9,000 - down from its peak of 19,000 in 1999.