First Blue Lane yacht brings in $40,000 in two days

July 28, 2020 11:39 am

Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya

Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya has revealed that more than $40,000 has been injected into our economy by the first yacht to visit Fiji under the government’s Blue Lane initiative.

The Blue Lane has been established for yacht and pleasure craft sailing and is being piloted at Port Denarau Marina in Nadi.

This is the first foreign vessel to be allowed in the country after four months, as restrictions were put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 in March.

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Koya says this is a small start to what Fiji expects to help in the recovery of our ailing tourism industry.

“Just two weeks ago we welcomed our first yacht from New Zealand and one yacht alone brought about $40,000 into the local economy over just two days. Not only that the Forex outlet has reopened, giving a little bit of life back into the bustling Denarau. To date 26 yachts have been approved to enter Fiji and we looking at approximately a million dollars being injected into the country by the end of the year.”

In his budget debate address, Koya also telling the House, the tourism sector revenue is set to face its biggest decline in decades.

“Mr Speaker, in respect to tourism, as one of our most labor intensive sectors, millions of jobs have across the world has been lost with repercussions felt across all the sectors of economy in Fiji. Visitor arrivals are expected to decline by about seventy five percent this year, while earnings as per the July 2020 forecast, is expected to reduce by seventy.”

This comes on the back of the United Nations World Tourism Organization report.

The report says the most recent measures announced indicate that some countries, mostly in Europe and Asia and the Pacific, are moving forward with initiatives to restart tourism and promote domestic demand.