October 19, 2012

Handicraft vendors cry foul

07:04 Today (October 17, 2012)
Report by: Elenoa Turagaiviu

Small handicraft vendors are crying foul – claiming that they’re losing out to the larger department stores when cruise ship tourists visit the capital.

Four cruise liners have called into Suva port since Saturday bringing thousands of visitors to the city.

Rakesh Kumar has been selling handicraft for many years.

When an FBC news team visited his stall, he had made only ten dollars.

He says all the big sharks are eating the small fish referring to the large stores taking business away from the small vendors.

“They have been advised not to buy much stuff from the streets – to buy our handicraft. So – we basically sell quite a lot of jewellery. It’s not as much as expected. Sometimes we go home without any money. So we are really struggling after these big companies come in.”

Retail giants Tappoo’s manager retail operations, Thilini Kahapolaarachchi says the company saw sales surge in the past few days.

“Recently there has been an increase of cruise ships coming into port in Suva which has boosted our sales and this is the 4th week and that has increased our sales at Tappoo City.”

She says tourists are buying handicraft that are fumigated unlike some sold in street stalls.

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