‘Super Yachts Produce Huge Economic Value’
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while announcing the further ban of cruise ships in Fiji stated that maritime borders were open for foreign flagged vessels and super yachts.
In his Phase 2 of Fiji’s COVID-Safe Economic Recovery announcement on Sunday, he said there were requirements to be fulfilled by travelers before they would be allowed into ports.
“Around the world, yachts and pleasure craft are looking to return to Fiji. This is especially true now, with New Zealand currently in the winter season,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“As those in our hospitality sector know, these ships particularly super yachts produce immense economic value for Fiji.”
The Economic Impact of International Yachting in Fiji 2018 report produced in collaboration between AMSTEC Pty Limited, Port Denarau Marina, Vuda Marina and the Fiji Office of Market Development Facility stated that the 4473 yachties that arrived that year injected $34.9m to the economy.
Fiji will also be establishing safe “blue lanes”, open to yachts and pleasure craft sailing to Fiji but the requirements are strict.
The Port Denarau Marina is the only port of entry will be Port Denarau Marina.
“If this pilot project is successful, we will consider extending blue lanes to other ports and marinas,” he said.
“Those eligible to sail to Fiji fall under two categories, both of which require them to be tested in another country before departing. If their journey to Fiji will take 14 days or longer uninterrupted at sea, once they dock in Fiji and show proof of a negative test result, everyone on board will be screened by the Ministry of Health for symptoms.
“If they’re deemed to be healthy, their yacht will be allowed to freely visit other ports throughout Fiji.
“Alternatively, those with a journey at sea shorter than 14 days will be required to make up the difference in quarantine once they dock in Fiji at their own cost.
“So, say they spend eight days alone at sea they will then be required to pay for six days of quarantine in Fiji, after which they can be cleared by a negative test result, also at their own cost.”
Meanwhile interest has been expressed in using the Pacific for travel, maintenance, and stocking in the build up to the 36th America’s Cup next year, in which Fiji could be used as a safe “parking lot” until the start of the start of cyclone season.”
International cruise vessels had been banned from entering Fiji on March 15 and this continues until further notice.