Building resilience in Fiji tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Fiji’s tourism sector – which makes up around 40 per cent of the national economy. With international borders shut, travel to Fiji is impossible for many tourists.  

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Pic: Fiji's International Airport Source: Provided

The prolonged impact of the pandemic has taken a huge toll on the country, according to ANZ Regional Executive for the Pacific Tessa Price. 

"ANZ is optimistic Fiji will overcome the current challenges and this infrastructure project will be critical in driving economic growth when tourists eventually return.” – Tessa Price

But having had a presence in Fiji for 141 years, ANZ remains confident of the country’s economic prospects as Fiji’s economy had performed well over the past decade prior to COVID-19.

“The Fijian economy is remarkably resilient despite frequent setbacks from cyclones, floods, storm surges and drought,” Price says.

“Our customers, employees and communities in Fiji are having a tough time and we continue to support them by offering options such as payment deferrals, interest-only loans and tenor extensions,” she says.

Constructing recovery

ANZ is providing funding to Fiji Airports in a partnership with the Australian Government so capital works can continue through the pandemic. This will help the country welcome back international tourists once travel can resume safely.

ANZ is providing a loan to Fiji Airports, the first ever guaranteed by the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) and the first local currency facility. The AIFFP also acted as co-lender alongside ANZ.

The AIFFP is an $A2 billion facility established in 2019 by the Australian Government to provide financing for infrastructure development in Pacific countries and Timor-Leste.

“ANZ is optimistic Fiji will overcome the current challenges and this infrastructure project will be critical in driving economic growth when tourists eventually return,” Price says.

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Pic: Fiji International Airport Source: Provided

The financing underscores ANZ’s commitment to supporting Fiji during the pandemic, as well as key infrastructure development in the Pacific, says ANZ Head of Structured Export Finance Paul Richards.

“Our partnership with AIFFP is a prime example of how the private sector and government can work together to bring critical infrastructure development to the region,” he explains. “Investing in essential infrastructure is vital to attracting investors to the growing trade and investment opportunities in the Pacific region.”

Funds from the loan will increase passenger capacity through the upgrade of ground infrastructure such as aprons and aircraft parking slots, as well as modernising air traffic-control systems.

Fiji Airports is the main provider of airport services in Fiji. It owns and operates the Nadi International Airport and manages the Nausori International Airport in Suva, as well as 13 domestic outer island airports. It also provides traffic management services to airspace that includes Fiji, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kiribati, and Vanuatu.

Sharon Klyne is Associate Director – Institutional Communications, ANZ

This article was originally published on ANZ's Institutional website

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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