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Tourism sector has lost skilled workers: Cocker


May 22, 2022 02:20:26 PM

Tourism sector has lost skilled workers: Cocker South Pacific Tourism Organisation chief executive Christopher Cocker has revealed that the tourism sector has lost a lot of its skilled workers.

In a panel discussion, Crocker said the tourism sector is facing a loss of critical staff, institutional knowledge and job skills.

He said although there is a strong desire to travel, there is still travel uncertainty and still low risk of appetite for travelling from our long-haul markets in this case.

“We are facing a loss of critical staff, institutional knowledge and job skills. We’ve sort of seen this in the Cook Islands the challenge of having skilled tourism staff to be retained,” he said.

“Fiji is facing the same problem and I know that other of our member countries will face that. There are still international travel restrictions in some of the key markets overseas.

“This may change towards the end of 2022. Of course, we all know that we are facing economic challenges at the moment particularly with the impact of the Russia Ukraine war.

“Other challenges are delay and loss of revenue for tourism suppliers in the last 2 years which nothing has happened in this case,” he said.

He said there is also great difficulty in the tourism sector to forecast because of the uncertainty and also from a lack of data and insights that’s available and is a key area that needs to be seen.

“I know that in the Australia and New Zealand market, there's been a strong drive and we've seen that in the strong numbers in Fiji since they opened last year. 

“But particularly from the other long haul markets. There are some opportunities from the Pacific that particularly appeal to the new travellers seeking off the beaten track destinations.

“They are becoming more environmentally responsible, giving back to the communities. Australians and New Zealanders are willing to travel but as long as the Pacific is safe.

“There are 20 Pacific Island countries, I see great opportunities for them to promote their unique selling points in this case,” he said.

He said the tourism sector is resilient, it is not the first time that it have been impacted with disasters, regional countries have rebounded from it significant shocks.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka


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