30 Mar 2007

Fiji tourism on recovery path after December coup

1:59 pm on 30 March 2007

Fiji's interim tourism minister says the country's tourism industry is seeing a slow but steady improvement in the number of visitors.

Some tourism workers were left out of work or with reduced hours following last year's coup and New Zealand's and Australia's travel advisories are still cautioning visitors of a risk to their safety when travelling to Fiji.

Fiji's interim tourism minister, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, says visitor numbers are still down from last year but workers are slowly re-gaining employment and she's happy with how the industry is recovering.

"Considering the advisories that have been placed on us by your government, I think that it's not too bad. We have a drop of visitors up to fifteen per cent and of course income has dropped about forty per cent because we are lending forty percent discount regarding airfare and accommodation. So we've got to pick up not only in numbers but also in the loss of the income."

Bernadette Rounds Ganilau says while the industry expects a surge in visitors during the June to September peak season, the numbers are not expected to be back to what they used to be.