The importance of the tourism and aviation sectors as key conduits to economic prosperity and the important role the ministry will play was highlighted by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka.

Mr Gavoka and the Assistant Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Alitia Bainivalu were welcomed with a traditional welcoming ceremony by the officials of the ministry.

“Tourism contributes almost 40 per cent of our GDP. Over the next couple of years, we will grow this Ministry, we will grow this industry to that level,” said Mr Gavoka.

“We will look at tourism to prop-up Fiji’s economy in the short term. So Tourism is where the country is hoping to accelerate economic growth. And I’m confident we can do it. We have good inventory — sufficient to keep at the level we want. And of course our software — human resource — are our best assets,” said Mr Gavoka.

The new minister who has a vast experience in the industry, shared how Fiji was well positioned to capitalise on its brand as a tourism destination.

“Branding can sometimes be a matter of words. But for us in Fiji — you can see it even from the streets. It’s spontaneous and natural and a very big part of our identity.

“It’s wonderful to see the Tourism and Civil Aviation portfolios coming together after over a decade. It’s a natural fit and we will resource Tourism Fiji and this Ministry. I know from what I have seen over the last couple of days that we are up for it. Thank you everyone for the welcome on this occasion,” he said.

Ministry of Tourism permanent secretary Shaheen Ali welcomed the ministers and provided the Ministry’s reassurance of its commitment to the travel and tourism sector as a key pillar of the Fiji economy.

“While we endeavour to capitalise on other service sectors like finance and business process outsourcing, tourism will be the mainstay of our economy in the near future. We are a small team, who I’m sure under your guidance, will grow. And I can assure you of our support and commitment over the coming years, as we look to take our country forward” said Mr Ali.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here