Fiji welcomes back tourists despite omicron threat
By NICK PERRY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fiji has welcomed back its first tourists in more than 600 days after pushing ahead with reopening plans despite the threat posed by the newly detected omicron variant of the coronavirus. The Pacific nation is famed for its idyllic white-sand beaches and relaxed, welcoming attitude. And it depends on the tourist dollars those features attract. Fiji’s economy took one of the biggest pandemic-related hits in the world last year, declining by 19% and prompting the government to offer jobless people tools and cash to become farmers. So it was with a sense of relief that officials greeted the first tourist flight from Sydney. More flights from Australia and the U.S. are scheduled in the coming days.