31 August 2022: With the current national tourism sectoral plan, Fijian Tourism 2021 coming to an end, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (‘MCTTT’) has now embarked on a renewed sectoral plan, with the support of the International Finance Corporation (‘IFC’).
Having opened borders in December 2021, the Fijian economy is now positioned to grow by 12.4 percent, owing to better than expected tourism recovery. From January to July 2022, Fiji received 284,167 visitors — which is 56.4 percent of arrivals in the same period in 2019. July has broken a record this year with 78,638 visitor arrivals to Fiji — an 81.6 percent recovery of July 2019 levels.
To ensure the sustained growth of the industry, the MCTTT has commenced work on the National Sustainable Tourism Framework (‘Framework’) – a successor to the Fijian Tourism 2021. The Framework will map out the policy direction, with a clear vision and goals, and an action plan for the first 3 years of implementation.
As part of the formulation, today, the first public private dialogue with the industry was hosted virtually with keynote speakers including the MCTTT, CEO Tourism Fiji, Mr Brent Hill, Managing Director and CEO Fiji Airways, Mr. Andre Viljoen, CEO Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Ms Fantasha Lockington and representing Duavata Sustainable Collective, Mr. Richard Markham of KokoMana.
In opening the session, Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Shaheen Ali, provided an overview of the current state of play – and the need to seize new opportunities amidst external shocks such as natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have experienced fourteen cyclones in the span of 6 years and a once in a lifetime pandemic – now compounded by added external shocks. COVID-19 specifically changed the economic landscape. Never has a single event in our history brought the industry to a halt. Now, we need to make a definitive leap forward from the remnants of COVID,” said Shaheen Ali.
The Panelists shared with the industry the various trends including the growing demand and performance, positive airline and hotel bookings, changing visitor demands and the most imminent challenges of the industry. This includes supply chain disruptions, cost of fuel and imports, skills shortage and need to green the industry.
“Any plan or any framework starts with a shared vision and a target. That’s exactly what this Framework will establish. Our target should be to achieve a $3.5 billion tourism industry by 2025. That will require us to now make the journey from an exotic destination to a desirable one. Aspirational to inspirational — from exotic to desirable,” added Ali.
As the lead partner, IFC Country Manager for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Ms Judith Green, added that the IFC was excited to support the MCTTT.
“We are delighted to see Fiji’s tourism industry recording such strong gains. Amid record breaking visitor arrivals, the industry now has a huge opportunity to spur further growth and jobs, with far-reaching benefits for the broader economy,” said Ms Green.
“We are working with the government and the private sector to help create a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient industry, which remains key to Fiji’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. IFC is also working to identify green and climate resilient investment opportunities across this dynamic industry.”

Consultations led by the MCTTT and IFC will continue till November with the next session scheduled for September 2022.