Exclusive: Fiji readies for global re-opening as Qantas charts an end of 2021 return

by James Wilkinson

The popular and exciting South Pacific nation of Fiji is edging closer to re-opening its famous resorts before the end of year, a move that has been boosted by Qantas’ announcement of flights resuming to the largest city, Nadi, before the end of 2021.

Qantas this week revealed Fiji was high on the list of destinations the Flying Kangaroo would return to from mid-December as Australia closes in on the nation’s vaccination threshold target of 80 per cent.

Speaking exclusively to Wayfarer, Tourism Fiji CEO, Brent Hill, said the return of Qantas was ideal timing for the nation.

“We are seeing incredible progress on Fiji’s vaccination rates with 94% of the eligible population receiving a single dose and nearly 43% fully vaccinated (as of 26th August),” he said.

“This successful roll out allows us to pro-actively plan re-opening Fiji towards the end of the year.

“With Australia being Fiji’s largest single market, it’s very exciting to see airlines like Qantas announcing plans for vaccinated travellers to return to our shores.

“Tourism Fiji is actively working with all its industry partners for visitors to come back and be immersed in the Bula spirit that we are known for,” Hill told Wayfarer.

A large number of tourism businesses across the nation now have 100% of their staff inoculated – including Tourism Fiji, Fiji Airways, Outrigger resorts, Royal Davui, Laucala, Volivoli, Turtle Island Resort, Yasawa Island Resort, Vomo Island and Rosie Holidays – and are ready to welcome international travellers.

That milestone recently prompted the Fijian Government’s ‘Care Fiji Commitment’ to launch a new module to incorporate education and recognition for vaccinations.

Key elements include a new ‘100% Vaccinated’ stamp for approved operators whose entire teams are fully vaccinated, alongside ensuring those operators are up to date with all COVID-19 health and hygiene practices.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said the current date of December 2021 remains in reach, based on pace of vaccine rollout.