Issues highlighted at forum

Dave Aidney (left) with Geoffrey Shaw during a break at the Fiji Australia Business Forum at Marriott Resort Fiji Momi Bay. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

THE Fiji Australia Business Council (FABC) says while there has been an upswing in tourism and trade between the two countries, there have also been a few areas of concern.

While addressing the 2018 Fiji Australia Business Forum last Friday, council president Dave Aidney spoke about their concerns.

“At FABC, we’ve all been concerned about a number of issues that our executive committee has been tackling throughout the year,” he said.

“One of them was the reported decline in tourist arrivals from Australia.

“And we discussed this at last year’s joint forum in Sydney where Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya was with us. I think it dropped from 50 to around 45 per cent of our total tourist arrivals.”

Mr Aidney said recent statistics derived from Air Terminal Services (Fiji) Ltd — which included transit passengers — showed an increase from 71,080 visitors in 2014 to 87,039 as a monthly average this year.

However, the FABC president added that pricing concerns were also an issue.

“We must all be mindful of those rumblings about how Fiji is getting to be an expensive destination with 25 per cent taxes etcetera because tourism is our golden egg and we’ve certainly got to nurture and look after it.”

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