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Fiji Time: 6:41 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Thousands expected to cruise into the Capital

Tevita Vuibau
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LOCAL shipping agent Pacific Agencies expects to bring to Suva an estimated 56,000 tourists on cruise liners this year.

And their arrival should bring more dollars to the capital's economy.

However, the Suva Retailers Association is advising small and medium enterprises not to expect too much from this as previous years have shown their spending habits tend to gravitate towards larger businesses.

"While the influx of tourists is good for the country it doesn't add anything to the small and medium retailers," SRA president Himmat Lodhia said.

"There are some larger retailers that benefit from these tourists but as far as electronic goods go they make only about 1 per cent difference to sales."

He acknowledged that tourists stopping over in the Capital helped select industries like buses, taxis and handicraft.

Pacific Agencies operations supervisor Rajesh Prasad said the company expected 28 cruise liners to dock in Suva and eight in Lautoka this year.

He said the ships would mostly originate out of Sydney and were expected to carry an average of more than 2000 passengers each.

Meanwhile, Suva was awash with tourists as the Carnival Spirit docked at the Princess Wharf yesterday. The vessel was carrying 2639 passengers.