12 Jan 2007

Fiji tourist industry hopeful of industry comeback

12:38 pm on 12 January 2007

Fiji's critical tourism industry is expected to bounce back quickly from the slump it suffered as travel advisories were issued after the December coup.

The chief executive of the Fiji Visitors Bureau, Bill Gavoka, says the billion-dollar mark is eminently reachable after Australia, Fiji's biggest visitor market, eased its travel advisory.

The Fiji Times quotes Mr Gavoka as saying they are happy with the Australian decision which is just in time for the launch of a major marketing campaign next Tuesday.

The chief executive of the Fiji Hotel Association, Mereani Korovavala, says with Australia taking a soft approach, only New Zealand, the United States and Japan need to relax their travel advisories.

She says hotel occupancy rates have increased to 60% with some hotels reporting 80%

The president of the Fiji Australian Business Council, Caz Tebbutt, says they had called on Australia not to hurt the ordinary people of Fiji and the softening of its travel advisory is fantastic progress towards saving jobs and contributing to the country's economic recovery.