TOURISM is a billion dollar industry.
"And in a country like Fiji where tourism is the backbone of the economy we take tourist safety and security seriously," said the officer in-charge of the police juvenile unit Inspector Orisi Tukana.
"After the events of 1987 and 2000 Fiji suffered from poor reputation in key tourism markets from negative media reporting and overly prescriptive travel advisories, particularly from Australia and New Zealand," he said.
Insp Tukana said one of the key roles of Tourism Police was to improve Fiji's image internationally through the provision of security to tourists. He said tourism police was there to reduce crimes committed against tourists and to reduce criminal activities committed by tourists. "We are contributing towards creating a billion dollar tourism industry in Fiji.
"We are providing security travel advisory to tourists and we are conducting consultations and visitations to our key partners in the tourist industry.
"We know that we are doing the right thing and that has resulted in the rise of tourist arrivals. According to figures released by the Bureau of Statistics tourist arrival figures rose from 631,868 in 2010 to 675,050 in 2011."
Insp Tukana made the comments in a presentation to police commissioners from the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Suva yesterday.