INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwis still travelling to Fiji

Published: Thu 2 Nov 2006 10:39 AM
Kiwis still travelling to Fiji
House of Travel retail director Brent Thomas is confident that the recent military activity in Fiji will not scare travellers off.
"Speaking to our ground operators in Suva, at this stage there is nothing to suggest there are any concerns about Kiwis travelling to Fiji, in fact guests outside of Suva were not even aware of the military tension when we contacted them."
House of Travel began running reports early this morning to identify and contact all customers currently in Fiji and those due to arrive in the next two weeks, to ensure travellers are at ease and to deal with any concerns. Customers due to travel have not changed or cancelled plans and remain largely unconcerned.
"While we have a number of customers over there and about to travel, it is not school holidays which are the busiest time for Kiwis travelling to Fiji. We have approximately 290 passengers who are already in Fiji, with a further 282 due to travel to Fiji in the next 14 days - these people will be contacted by their House of Travel outlet. These will be prioritised by departure date. Fiji is the most popular South Pacific destination for New Zealanders but many will not visit Suva at all as it is not classified as a tourist spot. "
Thomas said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) had adopted a "wait and see" approach and had not altered their travel warning to Fiji.
"We take our lead from MFAT and at this stage they are saying it is still safe for Kiwis to travel."
Thomas said customers should contact their travel agent if they have any concerns and to keep an eye on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory at www.safetravel.govt.nz. House of Travel will regularly be updating customers as the situation changes, both in person to those affected and on its website www.houseoftravel.co.nz"
The House of Travel Group has forecasted turnover in 2006 in excess of $700m, it has 90 retail outlets (with specialist corporate and leisure travel outlets) throughout New Zealand, its own award winning aggregated booking website www.houseoftravel.co.nz and two wholesale companies (both inbound and outbound). It employs in excess of 1,100 people and is privately owned (by New Zealander Chris Paulsen) and operated since it was established in 1987.
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