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SOFTA May Have Rep On the Tourism Fiji Board

The Society of Fiji Travel Associates may soon see one of their representatives sitting on the Tourism Fiji board.

During their annual general meeting yesterday, Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya closed the session and during a question and answer session, he informed SOFTA members that he will look into one of them sitting on Tourism Fiji board.

Mr Koya was also asked whether the upcoming budget will see any reduction in departure taxes and other taxes related to the tourism industry.

He said that this was the first he was hearing on the issue. However, he informed the stakeholders that it was not too late for them to make their submissions.

He also highlighted that the budget forum that the Finance Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum held was precisely for such issues to be brought up.

SOFTA is one of the oldest associations of tourism service providers and represents a broad spectrum, ranging from cruise, tour, all forms of transportation services and everything in between.

Mr Koya said last year about 540,000 visitors utilised the services in some shape or form of SOFTA member companies.”

“This is just an indication of the important role your organisation plays in ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the tourism industry. You will continue to be an important part of the future plans of the Fijian Government for the growth of the industry.

“We need to work together to identify the right type of tourism facilities and services, and what are the right locations and right time for scheduling infrastructure developments and the appropriate incentives.”

He reminded them that a collective approach was needed to ensure that their efforts to build a $2-billion industry is realised.

“Today, you have the task to assess and the opportunity to review your performance of last year, challenges faced, lessons learnt and plan for the future.

“Focus on continuous improvement of the services you provide and strengthening the networks and partnership with other key sectors of the economy will increase efficiency and profitability.”

During the AGM, new office bearers were also elected. James Sowane of Pacific Destinationz has been elected as president.

Vice President is Brad Rutherford of TTF and Budget Rentals’ Sada Prasad is the treasurer.

(Source: Fiji Sun)