26 Aug 2008

Fiji airline says government not investing enough in tourism

3:42 pm on 26 August 2008

Fiji's international airline says the Government's failure to invest sufficiently in the tourism industry is stopping it from growing.

The comments, from the executive general manager of Air Pacific's commercial division, follow last week's tourism forum in Nadi.

Mark Saladi told the forum Fiji's core tourism markets, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, should not be neglected in favour of attracting visitors from other regions.

He says there's a lot of room for growth in the core markets, which more investment from the private sector will help achieve.

But Mr Saladi says the Government's support is critical.

"We certainly made the message very clear, with the Government in the room, and said we just believe that the investment that the Government is making is too small. It keeps us at a level of tactical advertising and it doesn't allow us to put brand Fiji on the map in a significant way."

Mark Saladi says brand-strengthening is long-term work but he believes it will attract more Australasian visitors.