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Fiji Time: 9:51 PM on Friday 1 August

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Expo targets Asian market

Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, May 27, 2012

AS the demand from Asia grows each year, those in the diving industry are also looking to capitalise on the lucrative market.

"We have a lot of demand from Asia and most of them are from China and Japan while some come from as far as India," said Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association chief executive officer Michael Wong.

Diving operators gathered at the Fiji Dive Expo in Sigatoka on Friday to meet with their clients from Asia.

One of the participants at the expo was Taveuni-based diving operator, Laventure Jean-Michael Cousteau Fiji.

The resort's marine biologist and professional diver, Johnny Singh said there was a growing demand from tourists in Asia.

"We spoke to a diver from India who is looking for some unique areas to dive and I think that is a testament of how popular the diving industry in Fiji has grown," said Mr Singh.

Mr Wong said this year's expo was focused more on the Asian market.

"Our biggest market would be those from Australia, New Zealand and the US so this year we want to look at the Asian market."

"The interest in diving has grown over there and we want to be able to offer them some of Fiji's best diving areas," he said.

First timers to the expo, Club Oceanus Resort said people who come from afar like Asia are willing to spend money for the best diving experience.

"That is something good for the diving operator and the resorts," said the resort's sales and marketing manager Raumati Wikaire.

Meanwhile, other tourist providers are also looking to take advantage of the growing interests in Fiji's diving industry.

Captain Cook Cruises sales manager, Zahid Khan said the expo has provided them with some ideas on how they can tap into the lucrative industry.

"This is our first time to the expo and so far we have learned that to offer packages for visitors whose specific interest is to dive will be very good for us," he said.

"In the past, we used to have diving equipment for visitors who want to go diving in places that we take them to but here at the expo we've met people who want to go to a certain area to dive.

"And for that we can offer them some good prices to cater for their specific demands."

Mr Khan said the expo was an eye-opener for them.


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