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- The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) has raised concerns regarding the increase in unregulated AirBnB’s in Fiji.
FHTA Chief Executive Fantasha Lockington says while AirBnB’s provide similar services as hotels, they are spared from all the regulatory requirements.
“Many of them are probably doing the right thing, but our point is that they’re not regulated, they don’t pay the taxes that the tourism industry pays. They’re not having to be compliant with all the regulatory requirements, the tourism industry is and so that, that seems to us to be two standards really.”
Despite AirBnB’s and Hotels in Fiji providing the same services, the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association sees it unfair that one is doing all the things that the country’s regulatory authorities require, and one is simply providing the service without being regulated.
Lockington said it’s important that all service providers such as hotels and AirBnB’s are regulated to ensure guests are provided a safe environment.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association also highlighted a few challenges facing the tourism sector.
The Association said there’s lack of expertise in the industry due to brain drain.
Chief Executive Fantasha Lockington says they’re liaising with local institutions to help counter these challenges.
“This is because we have well qualified people and educated people going overseas for they upskilling. It’s not just about the money. You get exposed to a wider range of business types. You might move up faster in a larger property or larger business because of the size of that business.”
Lockington said natural disasters such as tropical cyclone is another factor affecting the tourism arrival numbers.
“Tourism always depends on wonderful weather. That’s what people are coming for. They’re coming to holiday, they want sunshine right through and that is always going to be a challenge.”
Lockington said a research will be conducted in order to have mandatory data available to help the industry keep tabs on the current tourism trend.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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