The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Honorable Premila Kumar, today met with representatives of the Savusavu Tourism Association at Daku Resort, Savusavu.
Minister Kumar in her opening remarks, emphasised that partnership between the operators and the Fijian Government was crucial for the continued sustainable development of the Fijian tourism industry.
“The tourism sector is the largest contributor to the Fijian economy. To ensure that the industry continues this positive performance, we need to work together to capitalise on the unique features each of our region has.”
“Savusavu may only get 2% of the total visitors to Fiji, but the number of nights spent here is an average of 19, which is double the national average. Therefore, Savusavu definitely has a lot to offer and is doing great in getting visitors to spend more time here. The rest of Fiji needs to learn from your experience,” said Hon. Kumar.
The national average length of stay is approximately 9.6 nights whereas visitors to Savusavu stay on average 19.6 nights. The highest average length of stay in Savusavu include visitors from the United Kingdom (33.9 nights), Australia (20.8 nights), Continental Europe (17.9 nights) and USA (16 nights) .
The Minister emphasised that the Fijian Government recognises the importance of the tourism sector and has ensured that there is a plan in place, to further guide the development of the sector. The most recent plan is the Fijian Tourism 2021 (FT 2021), which provides strategies and policy recommendations to ensure sustainable growth of the tourism sector with specific focus on high quality service and yield from visitors.
The meeting provided industry players in the greater Savusavu area the opportunity to share what the region has to offer for the growth of the sector and how they can contribute to the strategies within the FT 2021.
The Chair of the Savusavu Tourism Association, Ms Delia Jones highlighted that Savusavu is ready to support the Fijian Government’s vision for the tourism sector. Savusavu is able to cater for niche and emerging markets, such as voluntourism, yacht tourism and marine ecology, which create additional value in the sector.
Hon. Kumar acknowledged the issues discussed and assured the stakeholders that the Fijian Government has identified the areas and are already working on improvements, such as infrastructure – road upgrades, electrification, faster internet connectivity through the laying of cables and fiber connection, upgrade of health services, to name a few.
The Minister also announced that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism will be organising the Fijian Tourism Talanoa, where the industry, Government and other key stakeholders can openly and collaboratively discuss the future of the industry to maintain the upward trajectory of the industry.
Hon. Kumar also requested the industry to actively contribute to the budget consultations, to ensure that their needs are taken on board.