Tourism

Fiji tourism smashes 2022 targets

One of the hallmarks of Fiji's tourism industry is the world-class hospitality of the Fijian people.

Thanks to this kind of dedication from Fijian hospitality staff like Asenaca Nitayaqa - who you will meet properly a little later - the industry is on track to smash all its expectations for a recovery in 2022.

Fiji Tourism chief executive Brent Hill said at the start of the year they had set a goal to try and achieve visitor numbers of around 400,000.

They are now on track to almost doubling that number.

Kiwis urged to 'go for it' as Solomon Islands, Vanuatu reopen to tourists

The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will open on July 1, with Samoa and the Federated States of Micronesia a month later on August 1.

Japan reopens to tourists - but with strict rules

She has paid more than £3,500 ($4,390) for a 16-day tour, as under the country's Covid-19 restrictions she is not allowed to roam around on her own.

But Ms Ronayne, who lives in the UK, is still keen to make the trip.

"This will be my first time in Japan and also my first time in Asia. I am looking forward to it. I have been watching [Japanese reality TV show] Terrace House to learn some phrases," she said.

Milestone in Pacific tourism post-Covid

The organisation's CEO Christopher Cocker announced the partnership at the SIDs Global Business Network Forum in Palau.

Mr Cocker said it's a working group that can share best practices and information, which are important for Pacific nations considering opening their borders.

"To me it's a milestone because moving forward in terms of Covid recovery, no man's an island, we need to collaborate. And I've heard this week of how vital strategic partnerships are."

Cocker said the SIDs tourism sector faces a number of unique challenges right now because of the pandemic.

Some Pacific tourist destinations set to relax restrictions

But in that time, some nations have decided to relax restrictions to welcome tourists back and revive the economy.

With sandy beaches and warm, sunny weather Cook Islands is a dream destination for many travellers.

Now Aussies can be part of the dream with Cook Islands opening its borders to Australians from the middle of next month, and the rest of the world in May.

A 10-day isolation stopover in New Zealand has also been ditched for international arrivals.

No positives for Samoa's tourism industry in 2019-2020

This was outlined in the Samoa Tourism Authority's annual report for financial year 2020.

A major concern is the industry's existing loans turning into non-performing loans of more than WST$200 million.

Financial year 2020 is arguably the most challenging to date for the Samoa Tourism Authority with overall visitor expenditures decreasing and declined.

The report said the total credit to the private sector as reported is approximately WST$2.02 billion at end of December 2019 with at least 13 percent or WST$260 million outstanding debts for tourism businesses.

Samoa Government assists Tourism

Minister of Tourism, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster said, “The continued border closure remains to affect travel to Samoa and whilst efforts to continue to actively pursue domestic tourism have provided some level of business and relief for operators, the numbers in comparison to pre-Covid-19 are significantly lower and are unsustainable for the majority of tourism businesses,”

“The lack of visitors in these challenging times has impacted on tourism businesses financially as they continue to struggle to stay afloat with the continued financial obligations.”

Slow start as Bali re-opens to foreign tourists

As of Thursday, fully vaccinated travellers from 19 countries including China, India, and France can enter Bali. The UK is not on the list.

But visitors must first serve a five-day quarantine in a hotel.

Officials had closed the international airport in April last year to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

In July, Indonesia became the epicentre of Covid in Asia, but daily cases have since reduced significantly.

Now the tourism sector is hoping that some of the 6 million foreigners who visited the island in 2019, before the pandemic hit, will return.

Samoa holiday travel likely to re-open in 2022

CEO of Samoa's tourism authority Fa'amatuainu Lenata'i Suifua said that vaccinations and a tracer app would be key to letting tourists in.

"You'll need to download the app before you come to Samoa," he told Pacific Beat.

He said the app was based off the "privacy preserving BlueTrace protocol" developed in Singapore which uses Bluetooth to trace contacts between the users.

So far 36 per cent of Samoa's eligible population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and almost 80 per cent have received their first dose.

Samoa Government's 20-year roadmap outlines opportunity to grow seasonal worker programmes

The newly released 'Samoa 2040' report focuses on four broad areas: tourism, agriculture and fishing, developing the digital economy and labour mobility.

The report says labour mobility opportunities can be grown, pointing out that Tonga had half Samoa's population but double the number of seasonal workers overseas.

“It provides a valuable source of income for Samoan workers and their families and their communities and offers an opportunity to gain new experiences and training which can then be reinvested into Samoa's development,” it said.