SUVA, Fiji – Investing in a growing and rewarding industry such as tourism provides return on investments sought by the Fiji National Provident Fund, says its chief executive officer Aisake Taito.
And those investments, he said, ensured FNPF members were provided with quality employment opportunities.
Mr Taito said the tourism industry was regarded as the largest provider of jobs and the greatest earner of foreign exchange in the country.
“According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism’s total contribution to Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at 35.8 percent for 2012 and approximately $2.51 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
“Direct employment in this sector is estimated at 39,500 or 11.7 percent of total employment.”
He said the Momi, Natadola and Grand Pacific Hotel projects were part of the fund’s investment rehabilitation program and were progressing as scheduled.
“The fund is fully focused on successfully completing the Momi Bay and GPH. Once these projects are fully rehabilitated, then the fund may explore other options,” he said.
Mr Taito said FNPF believed there was greater potential in the sector and would continue to support the industry.
“Tourism provides a very wide range of employment opportunities, from resort staff members such as cleaners, cooks, receptionists, security officers, accountants, taxidrivers, tour operators, village meke and to those outside the industry such as farmers who sell their produce to the resorts,” he said.
“Hence, the benefit of investment in the tourism sector trickles down to the grassroots level and also provides double benefit to the fund in terms of increased member contributions from the employment opportunities and profit from the resort operations.”