30 Apr 2008

Fiji resort in Mamanucas cuts staff

2:01 pm on 30 April 2008

An island resort in Fiji will lay off nearly 50 staff over the coming months, citing increases in fuel and food prices and taxes.

Construction and maintainence staff from the Musket Cove resort, on Malololailai Island in the Mamanuca group, will be offered redundancy, or opportunities elsewhere in the hotel.

Hotel Chairman, Dick Smith says occupancy has been low for the past few months, but should soon pick up .

"While the hotel industry is generally discounting, up to 50-percent, some of them still, the Government puts on a hotel turnover tax that is 3-percent, and has now increased to 5-percent. So while the hotels are cutting their costs, the Government....they just don't seem to believe what's happening."

Dick Smith says the Government needs to understand the tourism industry better.