Fiji Urging Visitors to Return
PHOTO: Front desk staff welcome guests post-Cyclone Winston. (Photo courtesy of Raddison Blu Fiji Resort Denarau Island Facebook page)
In the wake of Cyclone Winston, which tore through Fiji last week, hospitality professionals are encouraging visitors to not put their holiday plans on hold.
“The best way to help Fiji recover is for visitors to come over, spend their holiday dollars and help the local people keep their jobs and feed their families,” said Peter Duncan in an article at Fiji Times, Fiji’s national newspaper. Duncan is the CEO of South Seas Cruises as well as the CEO of one of the nation’s leading adventure operators, Awesome Adventures Fiji.
Via a tweet, Fiji's Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Hon. Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama is also reminding visitors that the "vast majority of our hotels and tourism services are fully operational,”
Attorney General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum also echoes the sentiment.
“We need to get the message out to our key markets that most Fijian resorts are open and functioning,” said Kahlyum. “There is no need for intending holidaymakers to cancel or postpone their visits”, the AG said.
Tourism Fiji continues to tweet regular updates, including announcements of hotel closures and anticipated re-opening dates. But these updates are heavily interspersed with photos of resorts “operating as normal.”
To assist with recovery efforts, Fiji Airways, Fiji’s national airline, has announced that it has donated F$ 1m to the Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund to assist those affected by Cyclone Winston.
“We share the pain of our fellow Fijians at this time and will assist in any way we can to help rebuild our nation,” said Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO.
The airline is also donating free transportation of relief supplies from other countries, organized through the country’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). Additionally, the airline’s regional carrier, Fiji Link is carrying water and dry goods on all flights to Labasa, Savusavu, Taveuni, Koro, Vanuabalavu, Cicia, Kadavu, and Lakeba islands.
For guests interested in making contributions, Tourism Fiji is also tweeting some resort’s donation requests. In particular, resorts seem to be requesting clothing, bed linens and school stationary which will all be donated to local villages. Guests interested in bringing donations, should check with their individual resort before they head out.
Guest arriving to Plantation & Lomani Island Resorts encouraged to bring bed linen & school stationary to be donated to local villages.— Tourism Fiji (@TourismFiji) February 24, 2016
Fiji Airways also reminds people to funnel their contributions through recognized and reputable organizations.
“While we are heartened to see so many Fijians and our friends abroad offering assistance, we encourage everyone wanting to help to please work through the NDMO,” said Viljoen.
For more information and updates, be sure to follow the Tourism Fiji twitter feed at www.twitter.com/TourismFiji.
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