1 Jun 2007

Response to lifting of Fiji's State of Emergency

9:27 am on 1 June 2007

The lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations in Fiji from midnight last night has been welcomed.

The tourism industry in particular, which has been hard hit by travel advisories, has expressed relief.

The chief executive of the Fiji Visitors Bureau, Bill Gavoka, says he hopes the move will lead to the softening of travel advisories from the country's main source markets.

Mr Gavoka says with huge marketing campaigns about to be launched in Australia and New Zealand in the next few days, the relaxing of travel advisories would strengthen Fiji's appeal as a safe and popular destination.

The president of the Australia - Fiji Business Council, Caz Tebbutt, and the Fiji Employers Federation have described the lifting of the emergency decree as a significant and positive step.

The chairman of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Rajeshwar Singh, has also welcomed the move saying he is glad Fiji is sticking to its commitments to the European Union.

But the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told the Fiji Times he would reserve his comments and wait and see how things turn out.