Fiji goes all out in giving tourism incentives to tackle competition from Bali and Phuket
Fiji has announced a range of incentives in its annual budget of 2020-21 to promote tourism, including tax cuts, pricing reductions across the hospitality sector and a move to drop quarantine requirements for tourists from New Zealand.
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while presenting the budget said several measures have been taken including tax reductions to stimulate the tourism sector, its biggest income earner.
Hotel accommodation, food and beverages prices have been reduced, and the first 150,000 visitors to its shores will get $400 each towards packages including flights, accommodation and food and beverages, according to a report by Stuff.
Sayed-Khaiyum said market surveys had shown that Fijian resorts and hotels could be overpriced, especially when it came to food and beverage services. As an immediate fallout of these tax cuts, the price structures for rooms, food, and alcohol are to drop “precipitously”. Excise tax on alcohol will go down by 50%, the Stuff report says.
Sayed-Khaiyum said as Fiji looked to safely reopen itself to tourists, the hospitality industry could get creative with “all-inclusive options” that would allow the country to be cost-competitive against destinations like Bali and Phuket. “When they open for businesses, they will do so with a vengeance,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
Sayed-Khaiyum stressed that “we need to bring back jobs and reduce taxes particularly in tourism”. He said the biggest savings from the tax cuts were also targeted at tourism. The minister said Fiji’s economic comeback hinged on “holding our place in the global economy”.