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Two years ahead of schedule - Fiji records best-ever international VA result

Fiji visitor arrivals burst through 600,000 barrier for first time

Fiji has established a new visitor arrival record welcoming close on 632,000 international visitors across 2010. Figures released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics show a total of 631,868 international visitors travelled to the destination for the 12-month period January-December 2010. That figure eclipses the 542,186 total achieved for the same period in 2009 by more than 16 per cent.

Tourism Fiji CEO, Josefa Tuamoto said the 2010 result had “effectively obliterated” previous VA projections set in 2009 when the destination aimed its sights on attracting 600,000 international visitors by 2012.

Australia again continued to be the primary source of arrivals to Fiji for the 12 month period with visitation building to 318,185, a 28 per cent increase over the 248,489 recorded across 2009. This accounted for 50.4 per cent of Fiji’s total international arrivals for the year.

In other markets, New Zealand visitor numbers reached 97,857, a 7.36 per cent increase over the 90,898 recorded for 2009.

Arrivals from the EEC stayed positive, the 73,043 arrivals recorded for the 12 month period representing a 1.89 per cent increase over the 71,731 achieved in 2009.

United States of America arrivals also increased from 51,592 to reach 53,122, a three per cent year on year increase.

Chinese visitor arrivals continued to increase in 2010, reaching 18,227, a 31.89 per cent growth over the 13,820 achieved for the same period in 2009.

The national tourist office anticipates a strong 2011 performance from China building on from a five city tour of the country this month where a Fiji industry team met travel industry professionals in Guangzhou, Hangzhou Hong Kong, Shenyang and Shenzen.

The same applies to Tourism Fiji’s aspirations in India where arrivals increased by 22.32 per cent from 2375 in 2009 to reach 2905 in 2010.

Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Tourism, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum personally headed a key five-day tourism mission to India in February attending travel industry workshops in Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Foreign exchange earnings emanating from Fiji’s international visitation now contribute an estimated FJD900 million to the local economy.

Tourism now represents around 31 per cent of the country’s total GDP and is responsible for employing some 45,000 full time equivalent jobs within the total Fijian workforce.