Around 40,000 people have been directly affected by the impact COVID-19 on tourism, while its broader flow-on effect spreads to over 150,000 Fijians.
These workers are either on reduced hours, reduced salaries, or rotational shifts.
Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association Chief Executive Officer, Fantasha Lockington says the visitor arrivals between January and March 2019 reached 60,000 but this year, there’s only been about 28,000.
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“Last year from January to June we brought in over 400,000 visitors and in that six months they spend here in Fiji around one billion dollars and so in the six months comparison, we have just gone through three months. If you look at our last years six months, we have a lot of filling up to do.”
According to Lockington, there are vulnerable groups within the sector who are among the hardest hit.
“This can include anything from tour operators, dive businesses, transport providers, the boat transfers if you are food manufacture or food provider, restaurants, bars, spas all these activities would have dried up now and these people have either shut down their business or close to the point to sustain their livelihood or just trying to survive and many of these workers have been sent home.”
Around 900,000 tourists came to Fiji last year. The industry had projected a three percent growth this year, expecting 937,000 arrivals.
Source: FBC News