Fiji reopens to tourism | CNN Travel

Fiji reopened its borders to international visitors for the first time in nearly two years on Wednesday, December 1st as the Pacific island nation seeks to revive its dominant tourism industry.

Fiji closed its borders to all foreign nationals in March 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19 in a desperate attempt to prevent its limited medical facilities from being overwhelmed. .

With around 90% of all adults in Fiji now fully vaccinated, the Pacific Island nation has reopened its borders to tourists from a handful of countries – largely with the aid of international governments. tourism operator.

“To see the Fiji Airways plane fully loaded and let us welcome the visitors today was wonderful. It was a wonderful, wonderful feeling and I am delighted to be there as an individual. “, said James Sowane, director of Fiji’s Tewaka travel agency. , told Reuters.

Incoming tourists will have to stay three nights in an approved resort and go through a quick check-in process. They can move around designated areas, including hotel bars and restaurants, while they can embark on a number of day trips and activities.

Although limited, tourism has returned to being a driving force for many of the island nation’s 1 million inhabitants.

Tourism accounts for 40% of Fiji’s economy, and border closures have left around 10% of the population unemployed.

However, the reopening marks a risk for Fiji as Australia is one of the few countries to have recorded cases of the Omicron variant.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama hailed the return of tourists, who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and tested for infection.

Bainimarama said in a Facebook post.

Photo courtesy of LEON LORD / AFP’s Nadi reopening celebration via Getty Images.


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