VISITOR arrivals for the first five months of last year increased by 2.8 per cent over the corresponding period in 2012, says the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.
In a release, government statistician Epeli Waqavonovono said this was an increase from 229,860 to 236,361 while visitor arrivals for May 2013 totalled 55,478 — an increase of 7.2 per cent or 3743 over May 2012.
He said visitors from Australia recorded the highest increase of 2163 or 8.1 per cent to 28,899 while Japan recorded a significant increase of 40.4 per cent or 164 visitors to 570 visitors.
"Other increases were recorded for visitors from Korea, which was up 9.2 per cent to 320, Pacific Island visitors up by 3.6 per cent to 3090, China visitors increased by 0.8 per cent to 1596 and Canada up by 0.2 per cent to 955," he said.
"However, decreases for May last year were recorded for visitors from Continental Europe, which was down 13.5 per cent to 2080 while the US was down 11.8 per cent to 4388. UK visitors also decreased by 3 per cent to 1342 as well as New Zealand visitors by 0.2 per cent to 8409."
He said visitor statistics were released monthly using data sourced from the immigration system.
The present delay in releasing monthly visitor statistics, Mr Waqavonovono said, was because of a new system which came online in April last year.
"In the moving 12 months ending May 2013, the total number of visitors to Fiji increased by 0.5 per cent compared with the same period for 2012," he said.
"Visitors from the Pacific increased 7 per cent, the US by 5.9 per cent, China by 4.9 per cent and New Zealand by 3.7 per cent.
"Decreases were recorded for visitors from the UK by 24.5 per cent, continental Europe by 7.6 per cent, Japan by 7.2 per cent, Korea by 5 per cent, Canada by 4.5 per cent and Australia by 2.3 per cent," Mr Waqavonovono said.