5 Nov 2013

Owner of closed Fiji tourist attraction to meet attorney general

2:56 pm on 5 November 2013

The owner of a new Fiji tourist attraction forced to close after being deemed to be operating illegally says he and his legal team are waiting to meet the attorney general as soon as possible over the matter.

The floating bar and restaurant Cloud 9 opened in the middle of the year near a world-renowned surfing area known as Cloudbreak in western Viti Levu.

In a statement, the government says the Regulation of Surfing Areas Decree 2010 makes it clear that any commercial venture permitted under that decree be confined to surfing and water sports.

But Cloud 9's owner Tony Philp says his business is one kilometre away from the surf break and he believes the government has been misinformed as to the sort of activities he is permitting.

Mr Philp says the closure of Cloud 9 is unconstitutional and certain local people with vested interests in the surfing spot have manipulated the government by spreading malicious lies.

He says people with that sort of attitude have the potential to kill the tourism industry in Fiji, which is up against stiff competition from the likes of Indonesia.