3 Jan 2008

Fiji tourist industry loses millions of dollars in 2007

11:13 am on 3 January 2008

The Fiji Islands Hoteliers Association president, Dixon Seeto, says the tourism industry made an estimated loss of between 96 - 128 million US dollars in 2007.

The Fiji Times says the loss in tourism earnings was the result of fewer visitors, shorter lengths of stay and discounted rates.

Mr Seeto says it has has been a very difficult year, with the loss of numbers and

employees working short hours.

He says it has been a very challenging year for the industry.

And the Fiji Visitors Bureau chairman Patrick Wong says while he expected visitor numbers to exceed the forecast, fewer people stayed in hotels and at heavily discounted rates.

That, he says, would result in low revenue for government.

Meanwhile, the former Bureau CEO Viliame Gavoka says 2007 was a disappointing year.

The Interim Tourism Minister Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau could not be reached for comment.