Fiji’s High Commission: “Everything’s Peachy!”
Fiji’s just peachy. At least that’s what the Fiji High Commission wants us to believe. It rebuked Britain’s Foreign Office for warning against travel to the islands. As for AL, I’m still sticking to my original stand: Proceed with caution. There’s only one practical way in or out, and your trip depends on who’s in control of the airport.
According to a report in the Telegraph earlier this month:
“Fiji’s army was conducting military exercises around the capital, Suva, on Thursday and nervous Fijians were stockpiling supplies.
The Foreign Office earlier this week warned against all but essential travel to Fiji because of the unrest. Australia issued a similar warning to its citizens.
A spokesman for the Fijian High Commission in London said the Foreign Office warning was a step too far.
“It is an overreaction. It is just media hype creating the problem,” he said. “We are advising any visitors to avoid the capital Suva, but otherwise it is fine. Life in the western islands is no different to before.”
A spokesman for the Fijian Tourist Board said: “At the moment life is carrying on much as normal, particularly in the outer islands. Tourism has been particularly good this year, so we hope both sides will see sense and see the damage they could cause.”
Operators confirmed that they would be offering refunds or rebookings for those who have already booked, but said the holiday resorts on the islands of the Eastern Division would be unaffected by the events in Suva.
John Rankin, managing director of All Ways Pacific Travel, said the Foreign Office was being overly cautious.
“The vast majority of resorts are a million miles from the politics of Suva,” he said. “There have been a number of coups in the last 10 to 15 years and all have tended to be non-violent. I was in Fiji during the last one, but the only reason I knew about it was that I overheard a telephone call to the manager of the resort, otherwise I would not have known anything was going on.”