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Tourism numbers drop by 40%

March 17, 2020 10:15 am
A 40% drop in hotel bookings has been recorded by the hotel industry.

A 40% drop in hotel bookings has been recorded for the next 3 months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association Chief Executive Fantasha Lockington confirms the decline in bookings is increasing daily with fewer enquiries coming through for the next quarter.

Lockington says the situation is unprecedented, difficult to predict and calls for greater flexibility in all sectors for planning purposes.

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Fiji’s visitor numbers are made up of 41% of Australians followed by 21% New Zealanders, with 11% coming from the US and other countries making up the total numbers.

Lockington adds Fiji must work extremely hard to win the confidence of visitors overseas and that the national tourism office must get additional funding to compete against the rest of the world.

The Association says hotels and resorts have been preparing since February reviewing operational costs, putting in contingencies to reduce staff hours and may even have to consider layoffs depending on how long travel bans stay in place.

Smaller operators are expected to be hit the hardest.

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