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Fiji Time: 5:29 PM on Friday 25 April

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Cruise ship visit boosts business in Sugar City

Shayal Devi
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

THE cruise ship Voyager of the Seas berthed at the Queens Wharf yesterday, bringing about 2000 tourists to Lautoka City.

Most of them purchased handicraft items and tokens before the ship returned to Sydney.

For Ephraim and Kathleen Battle of Newcastle, Australia, the trip was their first to Fiji.

"We have already been to Noumea, New Caledonia, and we are just so pleased to see Fiji before we return," Mrs Battle said.

"The weather is a little different here, it's hotter and people are also friendlier. When we get the chance, we will definitely come back."

Shirley Selmoni of Sydney said it was a rare treat to finally visit Fiji.

"I have never been here before and now, I see that this is just such a beautiful place," she said.

"Everything is great, the weather and the people.

"This is a great place and I would love to visit it properly one day."

Lautoka Chamber of Commerce administrator Mohammed Salim said the cruise ship helped to bring a few more dollars into the city's economy.

"A committee has been set up — the Lautoka City Tourism Committee —that has organised some activities for tourists when they visit the Sugar City," he said.

"Some events like the Labour Of Love foundation market and the marching of bands to accompany tourists have been popular."

Mr Salim said plans were in the pipeline to introduce more cultural activities to boost the tourism scene in Lautoka.