"Love Our Locals Fiji" campaign launched in Fiji to promote tourism

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SUVA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Fiji launched on Friday the "Love Our Locals Fiji" campaign to help the tourism industry ease the impact of COVID-19.

Speaking at the launching ceremony here on Friday, Fiji's Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Siddiq Koya said that the purpose of the campaign is to boost bookings and keep Fijians working during these difficult times.

"Tourism is for everybody and through the campaign, Fijians are called to become greater ambassadors of the Fijian tourism industry by immersing in some of Fiji's unique experiences. As Fiji enters Stage Two of its market re-entry strategy, we remind the world, 'Our Bula Spirit awaits you', in anticipation of welcoming back international visitors to our shores," he said.

Supported by the tourism industry stakeholders, the "Love Our Locals Fiji" campaign will play out primarily on social media and include the creation of a Facebook group where industry operators can communicate with Fiji residents.

As the backbone of the Fijian economy, tourism is the most important industry with the biggest foreign exchange earner.

Some 40 percent of Fiji's gross domestic product (GDP) is dependent on tourism which employs around 150,000 people directly and indirectly.

The island nation has in recent years received more than 800,000 visitors per year. The Fijian government had also set a goal of developing the tourism industry to a 2.2 billion Fijian dollars (about 1 billion U.S. dollar) industry by 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has serious impact on Fiji's tourism, and with travel restrictions to stop the spread of the deadly virus, the industry, which has already laid off about 40,000 people, has been at a standstill for three months now. Enditem

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