THE decline in tourist arrivals is a cause for some anxiety for a group of craftsmen whose livelihood depends on income generated from the sale of their handicraft.
Suva Handicraft Market Vendors and Manufacturers Association president Mahendra Singh said business had decreased in the past few months as a result of the increasing number of tourist companies taking tourists directly from the Kings Wharf for their own purposes.
"It is not fair for tourist companies to take the tourists for their own purposes," Mr Singh said.
He urged the authorities to get the tourists to the Handicraft Centre because it was an avenue through which the Fijian culture could be promoted.
"We are finding it hard to survive. We have to pay a lot of tax, licence fees and rent," he said.
Mr Singh said stall owners once earned more than $1000 a week but that had decreased to about $100.
He stressed the handicraft sold at the centre was fumigated and Customs-compliant.
"Tourists can take it with them to any country they want. We also issue certification for items purchased from us."