Tourism operator, Fatboys resort is hoping more emphasis is placed on domestic tourism.

Fatboys like all other tourism operators have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, they are hoping the local market would be able to take advantage of some of the leisure and recreation activities on offer.

Resort manager, Manoj Dhari says local tourism should be encouraged so that operators like them can continue to provide employment and keep the economy going.

He says locals as well as stakeholders should try as much as possible to reach out to them.

"Currently we are working on local packages to gauge interest from the locals. We try to attract locals with our package. We also have a deal with Solomon Airlines called ‘fly and stay’ package”, Manoj says.

He says currently Fatboys is giving a 50 percent discount for local tourists.

“And we are still working on small packages that can suit small families and singles," Manoj says.

Fatboys used to host guests from Australia, the United States of America and other European countries.

"Just before the beginning of 2020 we had 100 plus bookings. Sadly 20 percent canceled their bookings while the 80 percent now has moved their bookings to 2021”, Manoj says.

He says over the months of May to June, Strongim Bisnis has reached out to support them with small grants to assist them in their operations.

"We would like to thank Strongim bisnis for their kind support over the past few months. This has kept us going until today”, Manoj says.

Currently Fatboys has only nine employees with a cut back on the hours of work. Another nine employees were laid off.

Meanwhile the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) is also encouraging domestic tourism for its member countries.

SPTO is of the belief that domestic tourism is the way forward at this point in time of COVID-19 crisis.