Fiji has said ‘thank you’ for a $23 million annual bonanza provided by Australian timeshare companies to the local economy.
Speaking at the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC) conference this week, Fijian tourism minister Faiyaz Siddiq Koya said the contribution was far-reaching.
“For close to 20 years, Australian timeshare companies have contributed to the employment of thousands of Fijian people across many fields,” he said.
“It is a sector which often goes unrecognised and yet has a significant impact on our tourism industry.”
Attracting more than 50,000 timeshare holidaymakers to Fiji each year and more than FJD$23 million in visitor spend per annum, Australia’s timeshare operators with resorts in Fiji include Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific, Accor Vacation Club and Ultiqa under the Wyndham, Sofitel and Ultiqa brands.
Fiji’s timeshare resorts employ over 420 people directly, while also supporting the construction sector, retail, transportation, tours, attractions and a wide range of goods and services providers.
Timeshare resorts typically have high occupancy all year round, which helps the Fiji economy during low and high seasons.
Timeshare clubs also encourage repeat visitation to Fiji and contribute to visitor spend. Without the hotel room costs to consider, studies show that timeshare owners generally have more available cash to spend on tours and attractions.
Fiji’s tourism earnings have grown at an average eight per cent whilst arrivals have increased five per cent over the past five years.
The Fijian Government encourages sustainable development in all segments of the industry to contribute to the target of a FJD$2.2 billion industry by 2021.
Barry Robinson of Wyndham Vacation Clubs thanked the minister for his acknowledgement of the industry’s contributions.
In his role as deputy president of ATHOC, Mr Robinson also said that the industry group was committed to helping the communities in which it operates and would be donating 800 children’s books to schools and villages across Fiji. The group will also fund essential repairs to a bathroom facility at a Narewa pre-school.
Minister Koya thanked the industry for its contribution to Fijian communities.