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Increase hotel bookings, staff re-hired after months without work

January 1, 2021 7:34 am

Huge increases in hotel bookings have been recorded in this festive season seeing unemployed staff re-hired after months without work.

The Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association says 2020 has been disastrous, but they’ve been inspired by the response from locals.

Chief Executive Fantasha Lockington says most hotels that have been idle for months are seeing record bookings over the festive period.

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“Most FHTA members around the country report that Christmas was surprisingly busy in most regions – keeping in mind that while less than 40% of the total 12,000 room inventory is currently being made available – that of this availability, 70 – 90% occupancies were reported and in some of the tourism hotspots like Denarau – even 100%.”

Lockington says the ‘Love Our Local’ initiative and low rates have encouraged a lot of Fijians to support the local tourism sector.

“As with Christmas, bookings for the New Year have been holding steady – even though they tend to be very last minute with domestic tourism, our members are doing their best to offer value adds or inclusions like breakfast, special dinners, happy hour specials and kids eat free and meal package options. This has allowed many of the resorts to bring back more staff.”

Permanent Secretary for Tourism Shaheen Ali says while they are pleased with the local’s response, they are also continuing talks for international tourism.

“The industry, as well as our partners in the Ministry fo Health and the Ministry of Tourism, are well prepared to receive our visitors safely and have a commitment from our visitors to keep Fiji safe and at the same time have a commitment from our Fijian stakeholders to keep our visitors safe as well.”

Exotic island resorts and remote getaways aren’t seeing as much of an influx and are still or running on reduced capacity.

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