30 Nov 2016

Fiji tourist attraction defends its restriction of access to locals

6:27 pm on 30 November 2016

A popular tourist attraction in Fiji is defending its decision to restrict the access of locals when cruise ship passengers are visiting.

Fiji Tourism has set its sights on big spending tourists from the Greater China Region.

Fiji Tourism has set its sights on tourists from the Greater China Region. Photo: RNZI Courtesy of Fiji Tourism

The Colo-i-Suva Forest Park said local people are not allowed to use its pools while tourists from cruiseliners are there.

It says about 600 passengers descend on the park two or three times a month, when the ships are in, leading to overcrowding.

Parks forestry officer Lasaruga Taruga is downplaying criticisim on social media that the policy discriminates against locals

"No no it's just simply a misunderstanding by local people because most of the local people they listen to us and they understand and they can wait just for one or two hours just to let the tourists enjoy the pool and then the tourists pulls out again and then they enjoy the pool for the whole day," he said.

Lasaruga Taruga also denied the restriction was in place to prevent thefts.

He said there had only been one incident when a tourist's items went missing.