Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya today attended the 8th Speaker’s Debate as a panelist at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
The topic of the debate was “Will Fiji’s tourism industry lead to greater economic prosperity for the country as a whole?” Minister Koya stressed that “tourism has, is and will continue to play a significant role in the economic prosperity of Fiji”.
“The tourism industry provides a direct sustainable growth towards Fiji’s gross domestic product. The tourism industry’s combined direct and indirect contributions to GDP averaged above 30 per cent over the past seven years,” Minister Koya said. The industry provides employment opportunities directly and indirectly to about 45,000 people in Fiji. The sector also provides the most earnings in terms of foreign exchange in comparison to earnings from other traditional industries like sugar, fisheries, garment and forestry.
“The earnings from tourism for the period of 2011-2015 averaged about $1.4 billion and in 2016, the tourism earnings grew further to $1.6 billion while this year’s earnings is forecast to reach about $1.7 billion. The growth in tourism earnings is largely attributed to the growth in visitor arrivals,” Minister Koya said.
The tourism industry is linked to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 which is to end poverty in all its forms and also SDG 8 which is to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Meanwhile, the other panelists at the debate included Dr Dawn Gibson from the USP’s School of Tourism and Hospitality, Ms Fantasha Lockington of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Mr Daniel Urai from the National Union of Hospitality Catering and Tourism Industries Employees, as well as parliamentarian Mr Prem Singh.
[Source: Fijian Government]