The country’s hotels are increasingly losing skilled workers overseas.
The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association says this is one of the industry’s biggest challenges right now.
Chief executive Fantasha Lockington said while schemes like the Pacific Labor Scheme generate good remittances for Fiji, it creates a vacuum in the tourism industry.
“People want to be able to seek out new experiences, but that leaves the industry, not just tourism but also other industries, where we are now looking to fill those gaps.”
Lockington says most of their members now end up with hobby workers who often need a lot of training.
“To fill those gaps they had to go through a lot more training, hotels are really service oriented, and if they put a lot more time and effort and money into more and more training, that just reduces their ability to focus on some of the things they should be focusing on.
Tanoa International Hotel General Manager Daniel Roy says they are strengthening their employer-employee relationship.
“So we have worked closely with universities in Fiji with companies like USP, FNU, other hospitality organizations to be available to work with them with the skills that hotels really need.”
Roy adds that trying to manage tourists during this peak time in the industry is difficult given the lack of qualified hotel workers they currently face.