Editorial comment – Good to know

Tourists enjoy their day out at Plantation Island Resort. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The revelation that Fiji received 70,110 visitors in August is encouraging. Tourism Fiji chief executive Brent Hill said the numbers coming were a testament to the hard work of the collective industry.

“From Fiji Airways and our airline partners adding capacity to hotels doing a super job on service and tourism operators delivering an exceptional experience and Tourism Fiji continuing to market Fiji globally,” he said.

“Collectively, the message is getting out – Fiji is the perfect place as we emerge out of COVID, to holiday in.”

Occupancy, he said, continued to be very strong. He said the local tourism sector is now tracking above 2019 levels which he labelled as “unbelievably good”.

Local properties, he noted, were doing very well and are above 80 per cent through mid-September.

“We are seeing really good growth from the work the team are doing with the Chinese speaking market globally, from Canada and from Europe which is slowly picking up.”

Mr Hill was encouraged by the growth outside the usual Australia, New Zealand and US markets. Any growth in tourism numbers means positive returns for many people.

It means employment opportunities, and growth in associated industries.

That extends to transport providers, farm produce providers, and opportunities for holiday destinations and tours. Such positive developments would boost the local economy.

In the end, thousands of Fijians will benefit, directly and indirectly. With that in mind, we are reminded about our role as individuals.

That means doing the right thing when it comes to COVID-19 preparedness and vigilance. It means maintaining the status quo.

That will demand a proactive approach and constant vigilance. It will mean adhering to health safety tips.

The end result could see COVID-19 numbers a bit more stable in terms of those infected, and in the long run that means confidence for our visitors to keep coming to Fiji.

Our challenge now is to stay focused. It should be about following the rules that dictate how we live with COVID-19. We are encouraged by the number of tourists visiting our country.

We should be focused now on encouraging that number to grow. Many Fijians depend on the rest of us doing the right thing. We need visitors to come.

They will come if they feel safe and the processes are in place to ensure they enjoy their holiday here.

They must be motivated to come across first. And acknowledgement is due to all those working behind the scenes, and those on the frontlines to make our numbers grow.

We say, stay well and stay safe.

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