(CNN) – Fiji is set to welcome tourists again by the end of 2021.
The island nation originally intended to reopen its borders to tourists in December, but that date could be brought forward as the country’s vaccination program continues.
Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji, the country’s national tourism body, told CNN that any reopening date is always a moving target.
Hill said travelers allowed to enter the country will need to be fully vaccinated, show evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test and belong to a “green list” country, although Green List criteria no. have not yet been specified.
He added: “With safe behavior against COVID, we will reduce our community transmission and give confidence that Fiji is a safe holiday destination and will not be a source of cases in their respective countries. I am confident with all of our efforts. collectives that we will achieve the desired results and create a safe environment to welcome tourists again. “
The country’s national airline will play a major role in the reopening process.
“Fiji Airways is committed to having a strong program in place from the start. It is committed to opening in a number of its ports that it has flown to and providing capacity, ”confirmed Hill. He announced that flight and resort deals would be offered as part of the country’s reopening.
About 40 percent of Fiji’s gross national product (GNP) comes from the tourism industry.
Although the country is otherwise closed to foreign travelers, a group of around 30 wealthy people have been allowed to spend three months in the country under a special deal with the government.
The announcement of the reopening drew happy reactions from the Fijian tourist community, which was hit hard during the pandemic.
“We are delighted that before the end of the year we can once again share the spirit of Fijian boula with the world,” Christopher Southwick, owner of the Royal Davui Island Resort, told CNN. “We anticipate a strong opening for those who wish to celebrate the holidays under a palm tree.”
According to Tourism Fiji, the gap is linked to the age of those vaccinated. About a quarter of the country is under 18 and Fiji does not yet have vaccines specifically for children. Therefore, “target population” is a term they use to refer to eligible adults.
Image of Natadola Bay in Fiji by AFP via Getty Images.