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Fiji Government Stress Importance of Yachting Industry

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 16, 2008 02:55 PM

Published: 2008-09-16 14:55:27
Countries: Fiji

Good News in Today's Fiji Times

Yachting Industry Important: Interim PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The interim Government is working on removing any hindrances that foreign tourists who sail the Pacific Ocean in their yachts might be facing.

Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the interim Government appreciated the contribution of these visitors to the growing tourism industry.

"Owners of yachts and their fellow sailors spend the most in real terms on our shores. They buy food directly from local shops and markets, eat out, go to the movies, and pay for other goods and services such as health check-ups, spare parts, boat repairs and maintenance and fuel supply thus contributing directly to the local economy," he said.

"Owners of yachts and their fellow sailors also pay taxes while passing through or resting in Fiji usually after a long voyage of discovery and adventure on the high seas or when taking refuge during stormy weather."

Commodore Bainimarama said the interim Government is very much aware that the yachting industry is a particular niche market in the tourism industry that requires special attention in terms of service delivery, support services and long term security both for the visitors, the locals and the tourism industry. "I want to assure the owners of yachts and their fellow sailors that their security is paramount and the government will do its utmost to ensure that their personal safety, the safety of their boats and personal belongings is not compromised," he said.

"May they continue to visit our shores and enjoy the sights, sounds, natural environment and genuine Fijian hospitality."

The interim Government has given assurance that it will continuously review its policies to ensure that yacht owners are conducive to the private sector, including the yachting industry.