24 Jul 2007

Tourism recovery in Fiji very slow

9:25 am on 24 July 2007

A report from Fiji says recovery in the country's tourism industry has not been as responsive as expected with hotel occupancy rates remaining below 50%.

The Fiji president of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Dixon Seeto, says recovery has been slow compared with what happened after previous coups.

The Daily Post quotes Mr Seeto as saying the industry was expected to recover by the start of the peak season in June, but they have yet to see any signs of recovery.

He has confirmed that casual hotel workers have been laid off while permanent employees are working reduced hours.

The interim minister for tourism, Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau, says lack of funds has hampered overseas promotions and they desperately need the 1-point-2 million US dollars promised by the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has upgraded its travel advisory on Fiji because of the imminent strike action by nurses and three other public sector unions.