13 Jan 2003

Fiji government upset by Australian travel advisory

6:27 am on 13 January 2003

The Fiji government has asked Australia to review its travel advisory to its citizens wishing to holiday in Fiji.

The Sunday Times quotes the Fiji secretary for foreign affairs, Ratu Isoa Gavidi, as saying they hope to receive a positive response from Canberra this week.

The Australian advisory calls on its citizens to exercise caution and monitor developments that might affect their safety in Fiji.

The advisory says bag snatching and petty theft are common in Fiji and warns Australians tro avoid walking the streets alone at night, to secure valuables against theft and avoid displays of wealth.

It also says that under no circumstances should they leave personal belongings unattended, especially at beaches, hotels, restaurants and the airport.

It further warns that sexual harassment of women may occur as this has happened in the past and driving in Fiji can also be hazardous.

There is concern in Fiji that such a travel advisory may have negative effects on the tourist industry.

The chief executive of the Fiji Hotel Association, Olivia Pareti, says the onus is on Fiji to put in place measures to address the issues highlighted in the advisory.