Fiji : Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery
1. Opening the border, rebuilding safe international movement of people and restoring traveler confidence is essential to the resumption of tourism and economic recovery in the Republic of Fiji (Fiji). The Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery project will strengthen the capacity and readiness of Fiji to safely reopen to tourists and rebuild the country's economy following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The project will support Nadi International Airport to reopen with COVID-19 measures and Fiji Airways to deliver a testing facility for tourists and those working in the tourism industry to reduce the risk of transmission and facilitate international travel under the 'new normal'. The border closure has contributed to unprecedented economic contraction, particularly within the tourism industry which saw 2020 revenues decline by 84.4% compared to 2019. The tourism industry's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) decreased from 32% in 2019 to just 10.9% in 2020.
Guy, Katherine M.
Request for information
- Public sector management
|Project Name||Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery|
|Country / Economy||Fiji
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Grant
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Operational Priorities||OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
OP7: Fostering regional cooperation and integration
|Sector / Subsector||
Public sector management / Economic affairs management
|Gender||Some gender elements|
|Description||1. Opening the border, rebuilding safe international movement of people and restoring traveler confidence is essential to the resumption of tourism and economic recovery in the Republic of Fiji (Fiji). The Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery project will strengthen the capacity and readiness of Fiji to safely reopen to tourists and rebuild the country's economy following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The project will support Nadi International Airport to reopen with COVID-19 measures and Fiji Airways to deliver a testing facility for tourists and those working in the tourism industry to reduce the risk of transmission and facilitate international travel under the 'new normal'. The border closure has contributed to unprecedented economic contraction, particularly within the tourism industry which saw 2020 revenues decline by 84.4% compared to 2019. The tourism industry's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) decreased from 32% in 2019 to just 10.9% in 2020.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
2.In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Fiji closed their borders on 26 March 2020. During Fiji's first wave of COVID-19, only 18 cases were recorded. In June 2020, Fiji began allowing limited arrivals of returning citizens and residents with mandatory pre-departure testing and government-managed quarantine. After 364 days of no local or community transmission, Fiji's second wave of COVID-19 cases, confirmed to be caused by the Delta variant, began. As of 10 October 2021, Fiji has recorded 51,499 cases, of which 51,429 have been recorded in this current outbreak. Following a peak in July of a 7-day rolling average of 1,330 cases and 14.6 deaths per million population per day, cases, deaths and hospitalizations have declined significantly to 47 cases and 0.8 deaths per million per day. Fiji has benefitted from strong relationships with bilateral donors and other international organizations to address the immediate needs; however, there is a strong need for planning beyond the second wave and investments to enhance economic recovery, particularly in the tourism industry.
3.Fiji's population is about 895,000; nearly 80% of whom live on Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island. Tourism is estimated to have contributed 32% of Fiji's GDP in 2019 (with direct tourism earnings of about $1.7 billion annually) with most tourists arriving and staying on Viti Levu. In 2019, Fiji received 894,000 tourists, the majority of whom came from Australia (41.0%) and New Zealand (23.0%) followed by the United States of America (10.8%). The closure of the border resulted in a collapse in tourism arrivals and an unprecedented economic contraction of 15.7% of GDP in 2020; GDP is forecast to contract a further 4.1% in 2021 with an expected to rebound of 6.2% in 2022 and 8.0% in 2023. It is estimated that 115,000 people, one-third of Fiji's workforce, are newly unemployed or on reduced work hours. More than 250,000 Fijians have accessed unemployment relief payments with the Fiji National Provident Fund making F$182 million in payments for early withdrawals and the government subsidizing an additional F$237 million as of August 2021, for unemployment assistance, assistance given to the micro, small and medium enterprises to support more than 5,000 businesses, and cash assistance.
4.Fiji will officially reopen its borders on 1 December 2021 to Fiji's designated 'travel partners' - countries which have achieved widespread vaccination of their populations. As of 10 October 2021, 96.2% of Fijian adults have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination and 80.3% are fully vaccinated. Vaccinations began in September for those aged 15 to 17 years. Of the total population, 69.3% and 55.4% have received their first and second doses, respectively. COVID-19 vaccinations are being provided through bilateral donors and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.
5.Reopening of Nadi International Airport with COVID-19 measures. Nadi International Airport is the largest airport in Fiji; in 2019, it handled 97% of Fiji's international arrivals, 86% of whom were tourists. In preparation for reopening Fiji's borders, Fiji Airports received technical assistance (TA) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to (i) identify high contact points and explore options for physical distancing and separation between passengers, staff, and other airport users, and (ii) assess how security measures may be modified to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 while preserving aviation security objectives. Following the TA, Fiji Airports requested grant financing to implement recommended measures to safely process and transfer passengers in Nadi International Airport through minor works to provide capacity to isolate passengers and procurement of new and additional equipment to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
6.Enhancing testing capacity for the tourism industry. At a minimum, Fiji will need to be able to provide pre-departure testing for tourists returning home and for passengers transiting to or from other Pacific island countries for which Fiji is the gateway e.g. Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, and Tonga. Compared to 2019 levels, forecasted tourist revenue and arrivals in 2022 will be about 23.6% and 30%, respectively, rebounding in 2023 to 50% and 80%, respectively. Based on these forecasts, nearly 750 tests per day will be required to meet pre-departure testing for tourists alone in 2022 with more testing for those working in the tourism industry and those with on-arrival test requirements. Fiji's national peak testing capacity is about 4 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests per 1,000 population, or 3,500 tests per day; the peak test capacity in Nadi and the surrounding area where most tourists arrive and stay is about 1,200 tests per day. Fiji's capacity to test, trace, control treat, and isolate cases will be critical to reduce the impacts on Fiji's already fragile health sector. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) intends to continue widescale community testing at 2.5 tests per 1,000 population, or 2,200 tests per day, and does not currently have the testing capacity to conduct the considerable asymptomatic testing that will be required to support the tourism industry. To ensure testing is available to tourists and workers in the tourism industry and to reduce the strain on the testing in government labs, Fiji Airways in collaboration with the MHMS will establish a COVID-19 testing facility to co-exist with the newly established Fiji Centre for Disease Control (CDC) lab located on the Fiji Airways Aviation Academy property. The tourism-specific testing will offer asymptomatic testing for tourists, workers in the tourism industry and air crew and airport personnel.
7.With Fiji's heavy reliance on the tourism industry, it is imperative that Fiji is prepared for border reopening and is able to support the expected influx of tourists while maintaining COVID-19 protective measures under the 'new normal'. Support for both Fiji Airports and Fiji Airways to enhance Fiji's capacity to reopen borders with COVID-19 measures will be transformational for Fiji's economic recovery.
Fiji's borders reopened safely and its economy rebuilt (2021-2022 National Budget Address).
|Description of Outcome||
International tourism travel to Fiji restored.
|Progress Toward Outcome||Visitor arrivals in 2022 were 71.1% of 2019 visitor arrivals, exceeding expectations. Tourism revenue statistics for 2022 not yet released.|
|Description of Project Outputs||
COVID-19 measures at Nadi International Airport enhanced
Testing capacity for tourism industry increased
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
Two equipment packages procured and commissioned. 3 other packages under procurement.
One equipment package procured and commissioned. 1 works package under procurement.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The project is Category B for environment. An environmental assessment and review framework has been prepared and this will require development of an environmental and social management plan, based on the final specification for the works, and included in the contract for the works to be undertaken in the Fiji Airports terminal building. The works that are currently being undertaken for Fiji Airways, at the Fiji Airways Aviation Academy site; environmental audit has been undertaken. ADB support to the PMU and assist Fiji Airports and Fiji Airways with monitoring and reporting.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The project is Category C for involuntary resettlement. The land due diligence confirms that none of the proposed works will require, or result in, land acquisition, or create economic or physical displacement.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The project is Category C for indigenous peoples.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||The project has been designed in close coordination and through engagement with the MOE, Fiji Airports, Fiji Airways, and the MHMS as well as representatives of the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Taskforce, which was established by the government for mobilization and coordination of Fiji's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-one households living near the testing facility were consulted and their feedback was incorporated into the design of the testing facility.Consultations were held with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Embassy of Japan in Fiji, the International Organization for Migration, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility, the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and the WHO in relation to project activities to ensure close coordination. Coordination with the United Nations Development Programme and the WHO has been essential for this project.|
|During Project Implementation||Continued coordination with Embassy of Japan in Fiji and the United Nations Development Programme during implementation.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Guy, Katherine M.|
|Responsible ADB Department||Pacific Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Pacific Subregional Office in Suva, Fiji|
Ministry of Economy
|Concept Clearance||09 Jul 2021|
|Fact Finding||01 Oct 2021 to 02 Nov 2021|
|MRM||11 Feb 2022|
|Approval||13 Apr 2022|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||29 Mar 2023|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|13 Apr 2022||23 May 2022||27 Jul 2022||31 Mar 2024||-||-|
|Financing Plan||Grant Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||3.27||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||0.00||25 Apr 2023||0.00||0.85||28%|
|Cofinancing||3.00||25 Apr 2023||0.00||0.02||1%|
|Status of Covenants|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery: Grant Assistance Report||Grant Assistance Reports||Mar 2022|
|Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery: Project Administration Manual||Project/Program Administration Manual||Mar 2022|
|Grant Agreement (Externally Financed) for Grant 9228-FIJ: Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery||Grant Agreement||May 2022|
|Project Agreement for Grant 9228-FIJ: Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery||Project/Program Agreements||May 2022|
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery: Environmental Compliance Audit Report||Environment Compliance Audit Reports||May 2023|
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
None currently available.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|Enhancing COVID-19 Preparedness for Tourism Recovery||Individual - Consulting||Closed|
None currently available.