Fijians sincerely hope that they will soon be able to welcome Kiwis to their 333 beautiful islands.
In 2019, Fiji received more visitors than people who live there. The tourism sector accounts for 40% of the country’s GDP and creates around a third of the country’s jobs, so the rapid closure of borders to protect the lives of Fijians has resulted in widespread disruption.
Almost two years later, thanks to the immense kindness of local businesses and organizations, they have managed to pull through and are finally preparing to welcome their favorite visitors again – the Kiwis!
In true Fijian style, everyone was ready to help those less fortunate than themselves – a constant feature of one of the happiest countries in the world. Barter for Better Fiji, created to enable cash-strapped Fijians to get the items they needed, quickly grew into a national humanitarian movement.
A single mother asked for tamarind to start a bakery business and not only received it, but also a brand new stove, gas cylinder and bags of groceries; a taxi driver offered free rides to those doing good deeds, and a child baked over 30 dozen cupcakes in exchange for groceries donated to villages in need. These are just a few examples of how Fijians have done what they do best in difficult times.
The seaside resorts have also intensified. The Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbor provided free accommodation for essential workers, allowing the Pacific Harbor Police Special Response Unit a safe place to self-quarantine without putting their own families at risk. They also distributed food packages to local communities.
The owners of Volivoli Beach Resort have created new employment opportunities for Fijians who have been affected by the border closures by helping them obtain diving certification. Five Marriott International Fiji Resorts have teamed up to lead the Solia Lesu by Marriott #giveback foundation and have provided meals and allowances to families affected by lost tourism, as well as mattresses to Fijian government quarantine areas.
But now the worst is over and Fijians sincerely hope that they can soon welcome Kiwis to their 333 beautiful islands.
Fiji was the third most popular holiday destination for New Zealanders and was missed on so many levels. In October 2020, Fiji launched Care Fiji Commitment, a WHO-approved standard of good practice health and safety measures to provide in-depth training to the Fijian tourism industry. It puts in place rigorous frameworks and protocols, including the requirement that all personnel in the tourism industry be 100% vaccinated, so that we can feel safe when we land on Fijian soil.
And the Kiwis will come back to Fiji even better than before. Resorts and tour operators have used time to create more meaningful experiences – like everyone else, they’ve thought about what really matters in life and visitors will see programs like Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, which creates experiences that allow Kiwis to forge first-hand bonds. with local communities and the environment.
There are also more farm-to-fork experiences, with a real focus on local ingredients to benefit Fijian farmers – and there has been an explosion of food trucks, so visitors can enjoy great food. local and supporting small Fijian operators. There are also more opportunities for marine conservation activities than ever before – each week offers tourists new ways to support the local economy and help take care of Fiji’s beautiful natural environment.
At a time when happiness seems hard to come by in the rest of the world, Fiji is looking forward to welcoming Kiwis once again, giving them the chance to rejuvenate in a breathtaking environment and experience the true Bula spirit and the unique warm hospitality of this archipelago. famous for.
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