28 Nov 2006

Fiji tourism union says stand off will hit economy hard

12:01 pm on 28 November 2006

The Fiji tourism union is warning that the stand off between the government and the country's police and military forces will have a greater economic impact than anticipated.

The impasse has led to mass holiday cancellations forcing employers in the tourism industry to sack their casual and seasonal workers and cut the hours of some permanent staff.

New Zealand and Australia have upgraded their travel warnings for Fiji, and the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industry Employees is expecting the worst for the industry. employees.

Its general secretary, Mikaele Mataka, says the government must solve the stand off now.

"They have made their budget based on the income from tourism and if this impasse continues they won't even get what they have budgeted for. So the drastic effect in the long run, as far as the government and the country is concerned, is much more severe than what we have right now."

Mikaele Mataka.