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Tourism

The Tourism industry has become Fiji's largest source of foreign exchange in comparison to other industries such as sugar, fisheries, garments, forestry and even remittance receipts. The sector is mainly private sector driven and has grown substantially over the past few decades. Tourism contributes approximately 17.0 percent to GDP and provides direct and indirect employment to around 40,000 people. 

Tourism is therefore a critical pillar of the economy. In 2012, it is estimated that gross earnings from the tourism industry was $1.3bn, which is about 17.8 percent of GDP. Visitor arrivals have continued to increase over the past 20 years. In 1993, visitor arrivals stood at 318,874 which increased to 660,590 by 2012, an average increase of around 4.5 percent annually.

The source markets for Fiji's tourists are Australia- which contributes around 50.0 percent of the total 
market- followed by New Zealand contributing around 16.0 percent, United States contributing 8.5 percent, and the remainder from markets such as Canada, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, India, Hong Kong, Pacific Island Countries and others.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The Fiji tourism projects included natural & cultural, cruising, water sports & resort activities, yachting, surfing, diving, wedding & honeymoon, shopping, sports and community village tours.

Opportunities available in the Tourism sector:
  • Agro Tourism;
  • Spa Tourism;
  • Health Tourism;
  • Sport Tourism;
  • Nautical Tourism;
  • Retirement Resort Village;
  • Integrated Resort; and
  • Resorts & Villas.
INVESTMENT INCENTIVES

STANDARD ALLOWANCE
  • Investment allowance (in addition to ordinary depreciation) of 55% of total capital expenditure is allowed as a deduction provided there is no shift of tax revenue to other countries.
  • Applicable to building of new hotel including renovations or refurbishments or extensions of existing hotel and International Retiree Facilities.
  • Investment Allowance can only be written-o ffagainst the income of the hotel business or income from the hotel premises.
  • Losses carried forward can be claimed for up to 8 years.
  • Recipients of the provisional approval for Standard Allowance to commence implementation of project within one year.
  • Investors would only need to provide a sketch plan to obtain provisional approval for the investment allowance, and not necessarily a certified approved.
NEW SHORT LIFE INVESTMENT PACKAGE
  • 10 year tax holiday for capital investments not less than $7 million.
  • Import duty exemption on all capital goods (including capital equipment, plant & machinery) not available in Fiji but this does not include furniture or motor vehicles that are used in carrying out the investment.
  • Short Life Investment Package (SLIP) Incentives is also available for retirement facilities and hospital resorts.
  • Short Life Investment Package (SLIP) Incentives is also available for NEW Apartments provided the length of stay is not more than 6 months.
  • Recipients of the provisional approval for Standard Allowance to commence implementation of project within one year.
  • Investors would only need to provide a sketch plan to obtain provisional approval for the investment allowance, and not necessarily a certified approved.
BACKPACKER OPERATIONS
  • Income tax exemptions will be introduced for locally owned backpacker operators with annual sales turnover of $1m or less.
  • Duty exemption on the importation of raw materials and equipment used for the establishment of a backpacker hotel. (This incentive will only be available to backpacker businesses who are granted the income tax holiday).
FOREIGN INVESTMENT REGULATION FOR TOURISM SECTOR IN FIJI
Under the 2009 Foreign Investment Regulations (FIR) and Foreign Investment (Amendment) Regulation 2013 the following activities are Reserved for Fiji Citizens only.
  • Backpacker Operation, Handicraft Business and Home-stay Lodging Services.
  • Under the 2009 Foreign Investment Regulations (FIR) and Foreign Investment (Amendment) Regulation 2013, Tourism (Cultural Heritage) is restricted.
Any activity involving investment in the cultural heritage of Fiji must have at least $500,000 in owner's contribution or paid-up capital for companies in the form of cash from the operational date, to be fully brought into Fiji within the implementation period. In addition all other Tourism activities does not have a minimum investment requirement.

SMALL AND MICRO ENTERPRISES (SME's)
Income tax exemption is applicable to;
  • Tourism (Sea Cruise and River tour Operators) with maximum turnover threshold of $500,000.