Australian timeshare industry boosts Fiji Tourism
Fiji Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya has highlighted the contribution made by Australia’s timeshare industry to Fiji’s tourism industry.
Speaking at the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC) annual conference held at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa last month, Minister Koya said the continued contribution made by the timeshare industry was far reaching.
“For close to 20 years, Australian timeshare companies have contributed to the employment of thousands of Fijian people across many fields. It is a sector which often goes unrecognised and yet has a significant impact on our tourism industry,” he said.
Attracting more than 50,000 timeshare holidaymakers to Fiji each year and more than FJD$23 million in visitor spend per annum, Australia’s timeshare operators whose resorts in Fiji include Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific, Accor Vacation Club and Ultiqa under the Wyndham, Sofitel and Ultiqa brands.
Fiji’s timeshare resorts employ over 420 people directly, while also supporting the construction sector, retail, transportation, tours, attractions and a wide range of goods and services providers.
Timeshare resorts typically have very high occupancy all year round, which helps the Fiji economy during low and high seasons. Timeshare clubs also encourage repeat visitation to Fiji and contribute to visitor spend. Without the hotel room costs to consider, studies show that timeshare owners generally have more available cash to spend on tours and attractions.
Fiji’s tourism earnings have grown at an average eight per cent whilst arrivals have increased five per cent over the past five years. The Fijian Government encourages sustainable development in all segments of the industry to contribute to the target of a FJ$2.2 billion industry by 2021.
Also speaking at the conference was Barry Robinson, president International Operations of Wyndham Vacation Clubs, who thanked the Minister for his acknowledgement of the industry’s contributions.
In his role as deputy president of ATHOC, Robinson also said that the industry group was committed to helping the communities in which it operates and would donate 800 children’s books to schools and villages across Fiji. The group will also fund the much-needed repairs of a bathroom facility at a Narewa pre-school.
The Minister also thanked the industry’s regular contribution to Fijian communities through its charity programmes and community initiatives.