Fiji Small and Medium Accom and Tourism Providers
Mr. Richard Green,
Hotel Licensing Board,
Cc: Hotel Licensing Board
Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya
Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport
The following is a collective submission from a group of tourism accommodation providers in Fiji. This submission requests an extensions of the current cycle for hotel licensing due to the constraints and difficulties directly attributed to the current Covid-19 situation in Fiji and globally. The following points are supportive of our request for an extension and/or increased flexibility under the current depressed economic climate and border closure;
i. Multiple properties successfully had hotel licenses issued for 2020, however due to Covid-19 those properties were effectively closed for 75% of the year. Fees, applications and inspections were all carried out and paid for in full. The licenses were not utilised due to border closures and properties opting to close due to unsustainable operational costs.
ii. Many properties have remained closed during 2021, thus not utilising licenses that were obtained in late 2020. The costs of inspections and licensing were met in most cases.
iii. Some property owners are in fact overseas, unable to return due to border closures, or are inside / outside government mandated Containment Zones restricting movement to their properties.
iv. Due to the fact that our income streams are now essentially at zero, it will be difficult to navigate a course to reopening with mounting financial burdens due to closure.
We humbly request the Boards consideration in the following areas;
i. Waiver of the 2021 Hotel License Requirement with no penalties due to non-operation of businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
ii. Transfer of any licensed properties applications and fees from 2020 to the end of 2022 to ease the financial burden on operational expenses.
iii. Direction to the relevant inspection authorities (Health, OHS, Fire Department) to show compassion and leniency towards properties that have been closed and looking to reopen when and if borders open and travel commences.
iv. As soon as we are operational, we would welcome spot inspections by the relevant authorities to check that our services are of the correct standard.
Your consideration and assistance with the above measures would be greatly appreciated whilst enhancing our ability to prepare for reopening.
At a later date, representation of this collective Group of ‘Small and Medium Accommodation and Tourism Providers’ would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and/or Hotel Licensing Board members to discuss elements of the current Hotel Licensing Legislation. As time and technology change, we are confident that there are changes that will reflect a win/win situation for the Licensing Board and the accommodation providers.
We are also attaching a petition database of Resorts and Accommodation providers who agree with the points raised in this letter. Please see attached signatures list as support.
We hope these collective points raised are taken into due consideration.
We look forward to any questions you may have, or the opportunity to meet and discuss this further.
Vinaka vakalevu, for your time and consideration.