Rising room and food prices will scare tourists away, President says

Ratu Wiliame Katonivere opens the 2021-2022 Parliament session. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

Hiking room and food prices will scare tourists away to competitors, says newly-appointed President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.

While opening the 2021-2022 Parliament yesterday, he said the recovery of the tourism sector and the economy would not be measured in months, but in years and Fiji needed to tread cautiously.

Ratu Wiliame said it would not happen at all “if we get greedy and try to sprint our way to recovery by hiking up prices in our hotels and restaurants”.

“That short-sightedness will scare tourists away to other, attractively priced destinations that are offering vacation deals of a lifetime,” he said.

Ratu Wiliame said Fiji’s brand must stand out in the highly competitive sector.

“Government has empowered our hoteliers and tour operators to do so with practical incentives, reduced duties, and attractive tourism packages so that we can be price sharp, COVID-safe and capture a big share of the market.

“The next several months should not be focussed on short-term margins, but on long term market share so that our people not only get their jobs back but keep them.”

To build on this economic momentum, Ratu Wiliame said, businesses and individuals should seize the opportunity for investment and started constructing homes, apartments, warehouses, shops, and factories to take advantage of Fiji’s economic recovery and helped diversify the country’s economic base.

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