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Fiji Raises Departure Tax

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

27 January 2012

The Fijian government has been criticized after increasing its airport departure tax without giving sufficient formal warning. An additional FJD50 (USD28) was imposed bringing the total to FJD150.

Thousands of travellers are likely to be affected by the increase even though Fiji claims to have given 12 months notice.

Some travel agents in New Zealand have offered to transfer deposits for holidays to Fiji to other destinations so that clients are able to avoid paying the extra tax. New Zealand’s largest travel agency, Flight Centre, said that the increase was not only unfair to travellers, but to their company too as they were unable to give the standard 7-10 day warning about the change in tax charges.

“To increase departure tax by this significant amount in itself is unfair, but to give such short notice is unacceptable,” Flight Centre’s executive general manager, Mike Friend said.

It has yet to be seen just how badly Fiji's tourism industry will be affected by the increase.

TAGS: tax | business | aviation | Fiji | New Zealand

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