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Spike In Departure Tax A Worry For Taxi Drivers And Travellers

Nadi Airport taxi driver, Satya Naidu. Photo: Mereleki Nai

A taxi driver at the Nadi International Airport is worried about a drop in tourist arrivals because of the departure tax increase.

Satya Naidu said the rippling effect of the new tax law was the talk of the town.

“We have been discussing the possible areas that could be affected and we need to get ready for it,” he said.

“The cost of living is high.

“The fuel prices have gone up, and in this situation, the poor will get poorer.”

“Less people will come to Fiji for the holidays.”

Since yesterday, the departure tax increased from the $100 to $125.

It will further increase by an additional $15 from January 1, 2024.

Travellers are also concerned about the tax increase.

Dobola Manuwave, who arrived from overseas on Monday, has been waiting for the rest of her luggage since Monday, at the airport.

She said the increase of VAT should also mean a wage increase.

“If wages don’t increase then we going to be in a very difficult situation,” she said.

“People’s wages need to increase so that it will meet the demands set in place.”

Hel Manyam, who is also a frequent traveller, said tourists may travel to other places given the departure tax was excessive.

“The Government needs to reduce the departure tax if they want to increase revenue.

“I’m pleading with the government of the day to reconsider by dropping to seven per cent.”

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