Travel talks ongoing

Faiyaz Koya. Picture: FILE

Fiji continues to push for a travel bubble between its largest tourist markets Australia and New Zealand.

Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya said Fiji had proven itself as a safe destination for travels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have not forgotten the ‘Bula Bubble’ in case the other side of the House is wondering,” he said.

“Fiji is in high level discussions with our Australian and New Zealand counterparts to actually see if we can facilitate quarantine free travel. Again, this cannot happen overnight and there are a whole host of things to consider and we will continue to lobby for travel with our largest markets.”

He said they would continue to work with industry partners through the Tourism Recovery Team to address operational challenges and border reopening strategies. In response, Opposition member of Parliament Ro Filipe Tuisawau said global and local reports on the world’s economies stated otherwise.

“The latest report issued by the Reserve Bank of Fiji clearly indicates that global economic conditions remain fragile due to the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world,” he said.

“The Bula Bubble, as already mentioned, we do not know when that will happen given the current news that we have about these various strains.

“The largest ever economic contraction in 2020, poses the greatest challenge for a narrow-based economy like ours.

“The performance of key sectors of our economy continues to decline and unfortunately, the honourable Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport has not mentioned it.”

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