30 Dec 2008

Fiji interim Government goes on attack over New Zealand's latest travel advisory

2:27 pm on 30 December 2008

Fiji's interim Tourism Minister says New Zealand's travel advisory for Fiji is baseless, claiming his country is safer for tourists than some parts of South Auckland.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said it had become apparent that the travel advisory issued by New Zealand was not based on facts.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the advisory, updated on Christmas Eve, was based on conjecture and political posturing by the New Zealand Government.

The advisory was changed after New Zealand's acting High Commissioner was forced to return home.

The advisory leaves the security warning at "some risk", but says the expulsion of the New Zealand diplomat could lead to increased tensions.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the travel advisory appeared to try to undermine Fiji's tourism sector and economy.

But he says it has not affected visitor numbers.