|March 17, 2010|
Tourism Fiji Reports Majority of Tourism Infrastructure In Tact
|Tourism Fiji, the national tourism board for the Fiji Islands, has recently reported that the majority of the country's tourism infrastructure, located on Viti Levu in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, is fully operational and all international visitors are safe and have been completely unaffected by the recent passing of Tropical Cyclone Thomas.|
While resort business has resumed to near normalcy in the key tourist areas and international airlines are fully operational, the north-eastern and central regions of Fiji, which bore the brunt of the cyclone's passing, have been declared a disaster zone by Fiji's Disaster Management Authority (DISMAC).
Regional Director The Americas Tourism Fiji Ili Matatolu commented, “We are extremely grateful that any inconvenience this situation has incurred for our international visitors has been kept to an absolute minimum, particularly on Viti Levu and in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.”
In the Northern region of Fiji, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Savusavu resorts are operational and some telephone lines and power supply have resumed, but domestic air travel to the north east still is not operational while local aviation authorities assess damage to runways and airport facilities. According to regular communications received from hoteliers and resort operators in the northeastern division via satellite and cell phones, all reports indicate that all guests and staff in Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Savusavu are safe despite the damages.
Chief Executive Officer Jo Tuamoto said that even though the northeast has suffered as a result of the cyclone, he remains confident the region will return to normalcy in a very quick amount of time. "We Fijians are an extremely resilient people," he said. "While TC Tomas is one of the bigger weather fronts we have experienced in recent times, we are nonetheless very experienced at preparing for this kind of event."
Tuamoto says that it is business as usual for Fiji's western region tourism industry, which was completely unaffected by TC Tomas. In both the Mamanuca and Yasawa regions of Fiji, inter-island ferries and cruise services are operational. Domestic carrier Pacific Sun has also recommenced its daily air services between Nadi, Suva and Labasa. Captain Cook Cruises recommenced sailing and Blue Lagoon Cruises is expected to sail from its homeport of Lautoka.