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NZ bounces back to post 49.8 per cent growth

Fiji kicks off 2010 with huge increase in international visitor arrivals

Fiji has kicked off 2010 with a 37.6 per cent jump in international visitor arrivals – the best figures the destination has recorded for the start to a new year’s business since 2008. Figures released this week by Tourism Fiji for January 2010 show the destination attracted a total of 45,362 international visitors in January, a more than 9000 increase over the 32,955 recorded for the same period in 2009.

The result is a huge cry from the massive drop the destination experienced in January 2009 following heavy flooding, the natural disaster seen as a catalyst for a massive  drop in business.

Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto said while local industry sales figures and feedback from the national tourist office’s overseas based offices indicated Fiji’s business was booming, the January 2010 result was far and away much higher than he had anticipated. “In 12 months we have gone from one extreme to another. Last year we posted our worse ever figures for a January period in recent times – today we are posting one of our best ever,” he said.

Once again the Australian arrival result was one of the highlights with a total of 21,586 Australians visiting for the month. This represents a 65.2 per cent jump over the 13,070 visitor arrivals recorded for the same period in 2009.

New Zealand also registered a strong performance with Kiwi visitor arrivals climbing 49.8 per cent to reach 4801 compared to the 3206 figure achieved last year and in the process setting another January record.

Traffic from the UK/Europe increased by 22 per cent while Fiji’s US business for the period also showed good growth with a 4.1 per cent increase.

The only markets not showing growth in January were the Pacific Islands, Japan and not surprisingly Canada which Tourism Fiji attributed to the fact that many Canadians may have opted to stay at home to watch the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Mr Tuamoto said the overall January result had definitely set Fiji back on track and provided  an excellent platform with which to reach the targets Tourism Fiji has set itself in 2010.

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