2nd March 2016
Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji on 20 February 2016 with winds of up to 330km per hour. The small island nation was lashed by the storm which left damage, devastation and sadly, death, in its wake. At the time of publication, the death toll has reached 29 and thousands are without their homes, food or water. Unfortunately the people of Fiji have once again been faced with Mother Nature's worst, and our hearts are with them as they begin to rebuild their communities, displaying their characteristic strong sense of resilience.
Is My Holiday Affected?
We are so pleased that all our customers are safe, and the first priority is getting everyone home as well as helping any customers who are meant to travel to Fiji over the coming days. Although the initial information we have received indicates that many resorts were able to avoid damage, the north coast of the island of Viti Levu was hit the hardest and some resorts in the outer lying islands have sustained damage. We will continue to advise as new information becomes available, however if you're concerned about your travel plans we encourage you to contact your travel consultant.
The major tourist areas of Denarau,Nadi, the Coral Coast, Suva and Pacific Harbour are all fine and although some resorts in these areas needed some clean up, there is no damage and they are operating as normal and all transfers and cruises are also fully operational. Resorts in the north as well as the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands have been more seriously affected and although communications have been difficult, we have managed to ascertain the following details:
• Treasure Island - expected opening 14 March 2016
• Vomo Island Resort - to advise, expected opening 1 April 2016
• Mana Island Resort - sustained severe damage, closed until the 28th of July 2016
• Castaway Island - closed until further notice
• Yasawa Island Resort & Spa - communications down
• Matangi Island Resort - closed, expected opening 22 March 2016
• Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort - closed, communications difficult and still assessing damage
• Paradise Taveuni - communications down
• Koro Sun Resort - still determining damage
What Should I Do?
If your holiday plans have been affected, you have a number of options to choose from including changing resorts, changing your dates or cancelling altogether however all bookings are still bound by each individual resort's cancellation policies which means some fees may be associated with changing your plans. Each customer will be helped on a case by case basis to find the option that suits them best.
While many resorts have been willing to waive any fees associated with change of plans, some properties are still charging amendment or cancellation fees. Depending on your travel insurance provider and type of cover, you may be eligible to make a claim for reimbursement of these fees. You will need to contact your insurance provider to check whether this event will be covered.
It's a terrible time for the people of Fiji and your patience and understanding is appreciated.
Can I Help?
Although some parts of Fiji are suffering, large parts of the island remain unaffected and the best way to help Fiji to get back on its feet is with a holiday. If possible, keep any travel plans you may have had or better still book a holiday to Fiji. Fiji will need you now as well as in the following weeks and months after the clean up. The friendly Fijians rely heavily on the tourist trade and their economy would suffer another blow if the number of holidays were to drop dramatically. While visiting, you can help by taking small donations that will fit easily into your suitcase such as toys, clothes, books and pencils.