Archive for the ‘Tourism troubles’ Category

Moce yani Frank’s Own Forum

July 30, 2014



Bainimarama has invested a lot of money and even more ego in his PIDF to show Australia and New Zealand that he can lead Pacific cooperation better than they can, but his mastermind in the background, Khaiyum, is handling the Solomon Islands air services dispute in a ham-fisted way that will show other island leaders (and not just in the Solomons) that Bainimarama is all for himself and no-one else. Instead of setting up a meeting which he will attend with an open mind, Khaiyum broadcasts his demands through slave media. He says he will meet with the Solomon Islands but then he adds “responsibility for the dispute rested with the Solomon’s Government” and when he meets he expects them to capitulate. He says “Fiji is willing to hold discussions to break the impasse, but he made Fiji’s conditions very clear”. It’s the same old story – my way or the highway. So it looks like bye bye PIDF. Any other Minister would be sacked but Khaiyum is not any other Minister. He won’t even let Bainimarama involve himself in a problem that affects his relationship with other regional leaders.


Radio Fiji, 29 July 2014 Fiji awaits contact from Solomon’s to resolve airline dispute

Khaiyum counting on iTaukei being dumb

July 23, 2014

Without consolidation into a continuous block with beachfront Denarau would be pockets of mangrove of no use to developers

Khaiyum’s claim that he has protected iTaukei land ownership better than before is based on his claim that he has banned land swaps like the one at Denarau. Under this swap small parcels of native were swapped for Crown land. This was done so that there would be viable sites for tourism to be leased to developers. Ratu Timoci Vesikula has explained all this in the Fiji Live report on the link below. As a result of this swap the NLTB were able to “put all native lands together on a beachfront”. Without the swap Narewa landowners would have had scattered plots of mangrove rather than a consolidated block with beachfront on which hotels could be built.  Khaiyum hopes this will be too hard for iTaukei minds to get around, no doubt assuming that everyone would have as much trouble following at his so-called ‘boss’. Denarau has brought a lot of money to Narewa landowners and this is what Khaiyum would outlaw in the name of protecting their land rights. Denarau is a good example of development where everyone benefits. Landowners get good rent and Nadi has a magnet drawing tourists and giving jobs to a lot of people from Nadi, not just in Denarau but all around the area.

Fijilive July 23, 2014 Why we changed land ownership: Rt Timoci

Hard landing inquiry comes up with soft findings

June 30, 2014

Fiji Airways, the plaything of Khaiyum, who is the Minister for Public Enterprises as well as Minister for Tourism, has blamed systems for the hard landing which injured a crew members and damaged one of the new A330s. When the planes were brought with huge debt and a raid on the FNPF funds, questions were raised about whether local pilots would be able to fly the planes or whether foreign pilots were flying them. The decision to rush ahead was made by somebody.  Systems can’t make decisions. Was it Pflieger who implemented the grand plan and then ran as fast as he could from the whole risky business? Was it Khaiyum the Kontroller? Until free speech is restored we’ll never know, just as we’ll never be told the cost of the repairing the damage and the idle time for the expensive plane.

Radio Fiji Jun 29, 2014 Fiji Airways reveals findings from hard landing investigation



The answer to our tourism problems

June 24, 2014

Our very own Bhorat

The coup in 2006 and the persistent attacks on New Zealand and Australia as if they are national enemies has hurt our tourism industry  more than we’ll ever know. Australia and New Zealand are the rock foundation of tourism industry and everyone knows this except Bainimarama and Khaiyum. Meanwhile Bainimarama has gone all around the world to win friends and now we’re told there’ll soon be visa free entry for Kazakhstan.  Are we supposed to expect a rush of Kazhakis to visit as tourists?  All we can expect is handful of Russian mafia criminals looking for a new place to hide their activities.

Radio Fiji 23 June 2014  Visa free entry for Fiji and Kazakhstan soon

A good sign

June 20, 2014

A report that 3 hotels worth $20m are planned for Rakiraki is a good sign.  It shows what the promise of free and fair (or more or less free and fair) elections can do. If Bainimarama can prove that he has the approval of enough people to form a government on his own or in partnership with others the voters freely endorse we can hope for stable democracy and rule of law in place of decrees and dictatorship. Let’s face it though, the hotels will not be built before the elections and the owners of real hard cash will want to see credible elections before they sign cheques.

Fiji Times June 20, 2014  $20m for 3 hotels

Khaiyum to the rescue with Nausori airport

June 11, 2014

In another outing as Acting PM Khaiyum has stepped in to seal the deal with landowners for the extension of Nausori airport.  Apparently he’s going to offer them some kind of deal for development of land around the airport. – “we want to help them in terms of developing the land around the airport”.  His triumph as negotiator on native land deals is getting a fanfare from his brother’s Radio Regime but let’s hope that Khaiyum at least knows what Province he’s in when he negotiates the deal.  Radio Regime is under the impression that the village of Naselai is in Rewa, not Tailevu.

Radio Fiji 10 June 2014  More discussions on expansion of Nausori Airport

Can tourists save our dollar?

June 5, 2014

It’s true that tourism has been doing better in recent years. Numbers have grown after the shocks caused by the coup in 2007. But everyone in the industry knows that we’ve paid a permanent price. The brand has been damaged. We’re now a discount destination when we could have been a premium one. The regime propaganda machine claims tourism brings in $1.3 billion a year, but what they don’t say is how much money flows out of the country to pay for all the imports needed by the tourism industry. They’ve talked about import substitution but production of most local imports has fallen. It should be keeping pace with increased numbers but beef production, goat, rice and dairy production have all fallen. Tourism has survived a bad government but it cannot survive five more years of bad government and the worst thing of all would be another coup. Another blow to our tourism industry like that after 2007 and our dollar is doomed – another devaluation and another hike in the price of basics to hit the poor again.

Fiji One 24 May, 2014 Fiji tourism taking in $1.3 billion a year says RBF

The regime spits out another CEO

May 13, 2014

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