Fiji departure tax row heats up

By admin


The Fijian Government has brushed off outrage at an increase to Fiji’s departure tax as “an emotive reaction” and stressed the money will pay for important infrastructure improvements that will benefit tourists.
The government raised the tax from FJ$100 to FJ$150 (A$80) per person, prompting Flight Centre New Zealand to announce yesterday that it will offer customers with Fiji bookings a South Pacific alternative at no extra cost.
But the offer does not extend to Flight Centre Australia.
Flight Centre NZ executive general manager Mike Friend labelled the hike “unfair” and predicted it would impact thousands of travellers.
“To increase departure tax by this significant amount is unfair, but to give such short notice is unacceptable,” he said.
Speaking to ABC’s Radio Australia yesterday, Fiji’s secretary for tourism Elizabeth Powell admitted that the retailer’s move was a matter of concern.
“Flight Centre is attempting to perhaps sway the decision of people’s destination choice,” she said, adding that the revised sum sounded deceptively large when quoted in local currency.
In reality it was “not that big a contribution or increase”, she said.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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