5 Sep 2006

Fiji tourism shocked at PM's comment

3:10 pm on 5 September 2006

A spokesperson for the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Dick Smith, says he is shocked at the comments made by the Prime Minister after their submission to a parliamentary committee scrutinising the Qoliqoli or Foreshore Bill.

The association warned that some hotels would be forced to shut down the day the bill came into force unless it was amended.

The Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, said some hoteliers continued to have a colonial attitude and should give the indigenous people their proper dues.

Dick Smith, who is the Chairman of the association's Proprietary Rights Committee, says its submission was well received by the committee, but he doubts the Prime Minister has taken it all on board

"In the time that we finished yesterday to the time it was on the radio yesterday, I don't think there would have been no time to read it. If he did read it it certainly hasn't absorbed it. But there was nobody in that meeting that I spoke to that felt there was any threat and the paper this morning they are saying threats, but we made no threats to anybody."

A spokesperson for the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Dick Smith.