Fiji provides youths education, funding programs for free to better start career

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SUVA, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government has laid the foundation for its youth with policies and initiatives providing youths financial support, according to an official.

The secretary made the comments while officiating at the University of the South Pacific's School of Tourism, Hospitality Management (STHM) Careers Fair on Friday.

The fair coincides with an important day in the international tourism calendar, World Tourism Day. This year's theme is "Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all."

He added that tourism is also the largest employer in Fiji, creating one-third of the jobs directly or indirectly.

Last year, Fiji received more than 870,000 visitors and its tourism earnings achieved a record 1.9 billion Fijian dollars (about 873 million U.S. dollars). The country has a target of achieving 2.2 billion Fijian dollars (about 1.01 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021 in a move to further develop the tourism industry.

"The Fijian government's approach to tourism is sustainable partnership, where each stakeholder in the industry takes a shared responsibility towards achieving the national vision for the tourism sector."

"In this highly competitive global job market, opportunities like these are valuable," he said. "It provides the much-needed opportunity a young aspiring individual needs to kick start their career in one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy."

Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali said such policies and initiatives included free education, bus fare, scholarships and funding programs.

In recent years, China has become Fiji's most rapidly growing market. The annual Chinese visitor arrivals in the island nation in the past five years had grown from 28,333 in 2014 to 49,271 in 2018, registering an increase of around 74 percent.