8 May 2007

Fiji's interim tourism minister says extenstion of emergency regulations bad for tourism

10:09 am on 8 May 2007

Fiji's interim tourism minister says the extension of the state of emergency will certainly have a detrimental effect on tourism.

Last week, the military-backed interim government extended emergency provisions until the end of the month and the New Zealand foreign ministry has issued a new travel warning for Fiji, saying there is some risk.

Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau says some hotels are only twenty percent occupied, while some bigger resorts manage eighty percent.

Mrs Rounds-Ganilau says the extension and re-issued travel advisory will hamper the recovery of the sector never the less.

"It will definitely have an effect on tourism. Our numbers now are down fifteen percent compared to last year and most of them are returning friends and relatives, so they are going straight to family homes and relatives, not necessarily going to the hotels."

But Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau adds the interim administration must do what is best for the country.