TOURISM Fiji’s annual tourism expo was abruptly cancelled on Sat due to a pending cyclone, just three days before the showcase event was set to kick off.
The 2018 Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) had been scheduled to take place 10-12 Apr at the Sheraton Fiji on Denarau Island, but worsening weather conditions have led to the Expo’s suspension.
In a formal announcement Tourism Fiji advised that all activities related to the official FTE program were cancelled.
“This difficult decision has been taken because of safety concerns for all delegates due to the deteriorating and serious weather conditions,” the agency said.
This morning there is torrential rain at the venue, but the latest forecasts are for the worst of the storm to pass through at about 2pm this afternoon after a number of downgrades.
All schools in Fiji are closed today due to the conditions and some areas of Fiji have been evacuated due to flooding.
Full refunds of FTE registration fees are being provided, however given the lateness of the cancellation a significant number of exhibitors and buyers are already in Fiji and it’s understood that some have managed to reconfirm appointments despite there being no formal activities.
FTE this year had been set to feature an appearance by Fijian president Major-General Jioji Konrote among other senior government officials.
More than 100 exhibitor booths had been planned, while almost 150 buyers were set to attend from key markets including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, China, France & Denmark.
However Tourism Fiji has also confirmed that hosted buyer slots for the expo were “cut down dramatically” this year.