Nearly every travel expert in the world says the tourism recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is going to be a slow, methodical effort.
That’s not going to work for Fiji.
The South Pacific island chain has a better plan to speed the process and recoup lost tourist dollars. And that plan is…?
Lots of ‘em.
Prime minister Frank Bainimarama has announced the country is looking to attract “VIPs” that will help rebuild the country’s economy, which is so dependent upon tourism.
Give him this—the prime minister has chutzpah. And it appears to already be working.
Fiji Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said, according to CNN, that a group of high-net-worth individuals had been given permission to travel to Fiji. The 30 individuals from “a very well-known company” would soon arrive in the country by private aircraft, before taking a seaplane to their final destination, where they would stay for three months.
So, say you’re a billionaire looking to fly your own jet, rent your own island, and invest millions of dollars in Fiji in the process–– if you’ve taken all the necessary health precautions and borne all associated costs, you may have a new home to escape the pandemic in paradise. pic.twitter.com/IA82ndq2hc
“From our perspective, this is a balancing between managing our health risks and also opening up the economic pathways; it’s critically important to do that,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
Fiji has also started an initiative called “Blue Lanes” to welcome tourists arriving by yacht.
Sayed-Khaiyum said that travelers could serve their 14-day quarantine period onboard their private vessels prior to arrival or docked in Fiji. They would then be free to “roam around” the country after a negative COVID-19 test result.
Fiji has confirmed 18 coronavirus infections in total, according to the World Health Organization. There have been no deaths from the virus and no new cases have been diagnosed since mid-April.
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