FIJI STATE OF EMERGENCY IMPACTS TOURISM: ASSOCIATION

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 21) – The tourism industry is being affected by the Public Emergency Regulations in place, says Dixon Seeto, the president of the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association.

Mr Seeto said even though Fiji still remains a favourable tourism destination among international travel agents, the governments of source markets were still hesitant to revise travel advisories because of the public emergency regulations in place. This has resulted in FIHTA making a plea to the interim government to consider the possibility of removing the public emergency regulations during the next review of Fiji's security situation.

Mr Seeto said FIHTA had been engaged in dialogue with various high commissions and embassies about softening of travel advisories for tourists. Mr Seeto said while the governments like Australia and New Zealand have acknowledged that significant progress had been made since December 5, they were still hesitant of softening the travel advisories because of the public emergency regulations.

Mr Seeto said this issue was also raised at the Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange in Nadi last week. He said despite a lot of interest shown in Fiji, many travel agents had raised their concerns over the travel advisories in place. He said travel agents had revealed that while Fiji still remains popular, clients were voicing their concerns over the travel advisories set by their various governments.

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