Fiji: COVID-19's catastrophic effects on tourism results to enormous job cuts

Author: Sheldon Chanel, The Guardian, Published on: 18 April 2020

"It's catastrophic': Fiji's colossal tourism sector devastated by coronavirus", 15 April 2020

Fiji ... is braced for a deadly outbreak that would quickly stretch its health system to breaking point. But even if the worst-case health scenario is avoided, a devastating economic impact looks unavoidable. Tourism...directly or indirectly employs over 150,000 people in various industries. 

... "This will be catastrophic," says Tony Whitton, managing director of Rosie Holidays and Ahura Resorts. The Rosie Group plans to reduce its workforce from about 600 workers to 40 essential staff in the coming weeks.

... The knock-on effect of these job cuts will be enormous. Many of those employed in the tourism sector support dependents in a country where the wages are low, cost of living is high, and government support is minimal.

... Fiji's minister of economy and attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced a FJ$1bn economic stimulus budget...to assist businesses and workers in the current climate, which allows some workers to access up to FJ$1,000 from their superannuation funds, with government topping up payments for ineligible applicants.

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