Fiji Tourism Still ‘Open For Business’ Despite Storm

Tourism Minister: ministry is in the final stages of completing tourism plans that will set the guidelines for development of the tourism industry

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, December 23, 2016) – Fiji's Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya says the tourism industry is open for business despite the effects of a tropical depression.

Mr Koya said while TD 04F had not directly affected the hotel industry - many town areas were affected which could hinder supplies.

He adds government will continue to focus on developing infrastructure for the tourism industry.

"The ministry is in the final stages of completing our tourism plans that will set the guidelines for development in the tourism industry," he said.

Mr Koya said the entire tourism sector would performing well despite Cyclone Winston this year.

The Government must issue a Declaration of National Disaster after this week's heavy rain, according to the leader of the Fiji opposition party, SODELPA, Sitiveni Rabuka.

Sustained rain over five days brought widespread flooding and landslides to much of Fiji.

Mr Rabuka said a declaration of disaster and red zone areas now, in the places devastated by the tropical depression, would allow assistance to be sought from donor partners.

He was calling for all of Qamea Island to be declared a red zone and wants the territorial forces deployed to help with the clean up and to distribute relief before Christmas.

Mr Rabuka said he would also concerned at the impact of the storm on the areas that continue to suffer from Cyclone Winston.

He said there are hundreds of people still living in tents and makeshift shelters after that devastating event ten months ago.

Mr Rabuka said the Fiji government's handling of the earlier event was incompetent and its failure to declare a national disaster shows it has not learnt any lessons.

Disaster officials have said if overseas help is need they will seek it through the Red Cross.

Radio New Zealand International
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