9 Jul 2010

Fiji's surf spots now open to everybody following decree

7:49 am on 9 July 2010

As of today Fiji's surf spots are open to everybody.

Last week, the interim government issued a decree, eliminating exclusive licenses held by some hotels.

A statement from the interim Attorney General says the Government wants to encourage and promote surfing in Fiji by liberalising access to all surfing areas.

It says as a result, there could be an additional 20,000 tourists in Fiji each year.

The President of the Fiji Surfing Association John Philp says it has been anticipating the decree for some time and believes it's a great win for surfers.

"We think immediately surfing tourist numbers will double. And anyone with an idea to start up a surf tour company, a backpacker place, a boat charter, surf business, they're suddenly going to say, 'hey Fiji's open for business'. And we've got great waves."

John Philp says Fiji must now work hard to bring back professional surfing contests to attract top surfers to the country.