TOURISM Fiji today hosted a Getting Ready webinar to discuss collective activities and plans for when borders reopen, with close to 400 industry stakeholders in attendance.
The panel included Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya and Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali alongside Tourism Fiji’s CEO Brent Hill, Chief Operations Officer James Pridgeon and Director of Marketing Emma Campbell.
Minister Koya thanked the industry for their extensive efforts in supporting Fiji’s national vaccination drive; now standing at around 96 percent for first-dose vaccinations and 47 percent of fully vaccinated eligible adults.
“I think we can all agree this is a phenomenal effort and could not have happened so efficiently without your support.
“We’ve been delighted to see tourism businesses transform themselves into vaccination hubs, providing vehicles and vessels to transport vaccines and frontline staff to some of the most remote areas, and the continued advocacy on the importance of vaccination. As you all know, we are collectively working towards a November re-opening. To make that happen, we have to keep momentum and achieve 80 percent.”
A reopening framework is currently being finalized with collective input from stakeholders including MCTTT, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Tourism Fiji, Fiji Airways and the Tourism Recovery Team, which includes tourism industry representatives.
“We are looking at medical and digital infrastructure, looking at the market agility. This means having to consider frequency and platforms of testing for visitors, determining which markets to accept on what conditions, setting up vaccine passports and mutual recognition, creating a seamless travel authorization portal, determining where tourists go in Fiji,” Minister Koya added.
Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill emphasized the importance of the Care Fiji Commitment Program in ensuring travel confidence throughout arrival, border control, testing and holiday experiences. The program will also soon require all operators to have fully vaccinated teams by Fiji’s reopening date.
Discussions included essential inter-island travel, accredited travel and zones and the resumption of onsite dining for restaurants and eateries. The webinar is one of several ongoing engagement platforms with industry operators.
“Vinaka vakalevu Tourism Fiji for the great webinar today where discussions took place on how we as an industry can collectively prepare for when our Fiji borders will reopen,” said Adeline Lee Erasito, Director Business Development for Rosie Holidays.
“We know there is a lot of work behind the scenes to have revised protocols and ensure the safety of not just our visitors but also our people but as an industry I am sure we are all here to support your great efforts. Rosie Holidays does look forward to when our borders re-open and we can once again welcome our visitors and ensure they all experience the warmth Fijian hospitality that we are renowned for.”