Fiji’s tourism operator Tony Whitton believes the industry needs to sell the unique Fijian holiday experience and not the price to global tourism markets.
In acknowledging the mass arrival of visitors into the country last year, the managing director of Rosie Holidays and Ahura Resorts says that it should be well noted that Fiji has such an amazing and unique story when it comes to tourism.
“And Fiji has such an amazing story where the indigenous people own 88 per cent of the land and to come here with open spaces, a beautiful environment, living culture, without the masses is something special,” Mr Whitton said.
“And people are prepared to pay for this experience as long as it is delivered thoughtfully.
“Sadly, Asia has fallen into the mass volume trap. We don’t need this in Fiji.”
Mr Whitton said there was a need to start having this discussion with tourism stakeholders and resource owners at the right time. He said this could start off with a terms of reference for the master plan, the plan which could be way forward for the local tourism industry.
He had also earlier indicated undertaking a Tourism Master Plan in the coming years could better formulate a road map for our tourism industry in the next decade.
The plan, Mr Whitton, outlined would address important questions such as increasing visitor arrivals and presenting Fiji as a destination that is not the cheapest but is a special and unique experience.
“And to enjoy Fiji you have to be prepared to pay a little more. This is the very discussion that Tahiti is currently having. Fiji is so special and we don’t want to fall into the trap of mass tourism.”