Rick Hamilton was brought in a little over a year ago to get Fiji Tourism firing again. Now he’s gone. No reason was given for his departure but it seems he’s gone off to the Solomon Islands to head their tourism industry body. Was it back-stabbing based on the usual gossip? Did he fail to follow orders from the Minister for Tourism? One thing is for sure: this regime has a way of spitting out competent people. CEOs, DPPs, Permanent Secretaries, Judges and Magistrates have been sacked or resigned with no reason being given. The reports are saying he was removed because he accepted another job, but why did he accept another job? Was he sick of interference by the Minister for Tourism? With sugar going down the drain, we now rely on tourism to generate jobs and since the 2006 coup Fiji tourism our industry has struggled. Our major markets are Australia and New Zealand which the regime has targetted by picking fights with governments and kicking out ambassadors. The promised influx of tourists from India and China hasn’t happened and isn’t likely to happen unless Khaiyum can move us thousands of kilometres to a more competetive location. Until then Australia and New Zealand will remain our major markets.
Fiji Times May 13, 2014 Tourism Fiji CEO leaves