5 Mar 2011

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Assocation encourages industry to offer holidays to quake refugees

12:35 pm on 5 March 2011

The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association is encouraging resort owners to make free holiday packages available to Christchurch families affected by the earthquake.

The president, Dixon Seeto, says while the logistics are being worked out, both Air New Zealand and Fiji's national carrier Air Pacific have come on board with the initiative.

He says the association and its members have been involved in relief work related to many other natural disasters around the region.

"This shows the human side of the industry, I mean we are a people industry, it's not all about making money. New Zealand is Fiji's second largest market and I just think on compassionate grounds it needs to be done. At the same time I think it's just giving back to some extent in recognition that we also feel for the people, especially those who have lost family members and things like that."

Dixon Seeto says there a number of hotels discussing the arrangement.

Fiji's national airline, Air Pacific, is offering 27 US dollar one way fares between Nadi and Christchurch until the end of this month.

The airline's managing director, Dave Pflieger, says Christchurch is a key market for Air Pacific and the airline wants to play its part in being considerate and sympathetic following the devastation of last week's earthquake.

The price offer doesn't include taxes.

Fundraising events are also taking place in the Cook Islands.

Hundreds of people in the country will today be wearing red and black in support of those affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

Our correspondent in the Cook Islands, Florence Syme-Buchanan reports.

I am thinking the whole country will be wearing black and red today, including school children. The local newspaper has been pushing this for the last couple of days. It's our way of showing our love for our friends and family in Christchurch.

Florence Syme-Buchanan.