Jan 19, 2021 Last Updated 8:17 AM, Jan 19, 2021

By Samisoni Pareti

Fiji’s leader of opposition has expressed outrage at the embarrassing blunder by Tourism Fiji overnight when it posted a video that labels the church as the Fijian meaning of the word ‘toilet.’

“I am outraged and disgusted that an organisation like Tourism Fiji would be so careless as to allow someone within its organisation to release this promotional video,” said a statement from the office of the Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

“Obviously no proper vetting or proof reading was done before its release. Is this a deliberate mistake by Tourism Fiji? How can someone translate ‘toilet’ to ‘vale ni lotu’ [church]?”

“The ‘vale ni lotu’ is a sacred location of belief and worship for indigenous Fijians, however this incident undermines and ridicules its sanctity.”

Honourable Ro Teimumu said the blunder could force the opposition to review its support for Tourism Fiji’s annual marketing budget.

“The taxpayers of Fiji give Tourism Fiji F$43.5 million a year in grants for marketing and operating expenses and if this is a sample of what we can expect them to produce using our taxpayers’ dollars, then perhaps we should review their allocation in this year’s budget.”

Since the tourism video blunder went viral on social media, Tourism Fiji took the post down before lunch today and it has issued two apologies already. It blamed the gaffe on a mix-up of graphic designs, and it promises not to repeat such mistakes again.

“Tourism Fiji takes full responsibility for the error and sincerely regrets any offence this post may have caused our fellow Fijians. We take this situation very seriously and are reviewing our internal processes to ensure this does not happen again,” said the statement from Tourism Fiji.

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IB Dec 2020 Frontcover

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