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New fleet to take tourism to another level

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, January 05, 2013

THE arrival of Air Pacific's Airbus A330s fleet this year is expected to take the tourism industry to another level says Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association president Dixon Seeto.

Looking back, Mr Seeto said 2012 had been a good year for the industry despite unexpected challenges like the floods and tropical cyclone.

"Some hotels had been closed for a few months because of this but overall, 2012 was a good year — the industry is progressing well and we look forward to 2013," he said yesterday.

"There is a lot of enthusiasm with the arrival of the new aircraft in March -— it'll be a major plus for 2013.

"Majority of the tourists that came to Fiji last year were from Australia and New Zealand but we're looking at diversifying the market especially in Asia, China and Indian subcontinent.

"There's going to be a bit more people from the north. Most markets are fairly flamboyant so we're not alone in this but we watch the general financial trends in the world.

"It does have an effect on travel patterns and I think the major thing is Air Pac's new planes and the new brand marketing by Tourism Fiji."

Mr Seeto said there was a possibility the new destinations might be introduced with the arrival of the Airbus A330-200 series aircraft.

He said the association worked closely with stakeholders and government to normalise the tourism industry following the recent cyclone.

"We know that tourism is one of the main vehicles for investment so we are working closely with our permanent secretary and holding regular consultations with stakeholders," he said.

Meanwhile, Air Pacific and Fiji Airways, as it soon will be known, is expected to deliver another state-of-the-art fly-by-wire aeroplane in May with the final arrival in November.





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