Drop in visitor arrivals affect 100,000 families

Rosie Holidays staff members prepare to welcome guests at the Nadi International Airport. According to Rosie Travel Group managing director Tony Whitton the group has seen a drop in visitor arrivals because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

AS many as 100,000 Fijian families will be impacted directly or indirectly by the drop in visitor arrivals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, according to Rosie Travel Group managing director Tony Whitton.

He said Fiji was a small island nation that relied heavily on tourism.

“It’s really essential that we work together as a tourism industry and work very closely with Government so we will be able to develop strategies to make sure we cushion or defray some of the direct costs to everyday hardworking Fijians that make up the travel industry.

“Because, at the end of the day, whatever decisions we make, it’s gong to translate to being able to put food on the table of Fijian families — either directly or indirectly who depend on the tourism industry so we are going to be wise on what our responses are going to be.

“We have to be fair and reasonable but everything we do is bearing in mind we have a responsibility to our families but at the same time being able to make sure we can have viable, sustainable business.”

Mr Whitton said if people were not prudent, they would get into financial duress. He added it was vital for organisations and companies to ensure their employees were stable during such a crisis.

“So this is a balancing act, all of us have to find some discomfort during this time but we will get through it, but we are not out of the woods yet.”

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