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Plus for tourism

Shayal Devi
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DESPITE recording a slight drop in visitor arrivals last year, Fiji fared better than other Pacific Island countries in terms of tourism.

This, according to South Pacific Tourism Organisation CEO Ilisoni Vuidreketi.

"The total number of visitors to Pacific Island countries was recorded last year at 1.65million and out of this, 660,000 visitors came to Fiji," he said.

"This was the highest number and smaller countries like Tuvalu recorded less than 2000 tourists."

In 2012 Fiji recorded 660,590 visitor arrivals while 675,050 tourists came to Fiji in 2011.

Speaking at the opening of the Pacific Conference on Measuring Tourism in Nadi, Mr Vuidreketi said tourism had become a vital contributor to ensuring the sustainable growth of the Pacific, contributing an estimated 10.7 per cent of the region's gross domestic product.

He said the event would focus on the compilation and collection of tourism data in the Pacific Island countries.

"We have countries that are represented by stakeholders of the tourism and immigration departments, statistics officers and members from the central and reserve banks.

"Fiji is way ahead of the other nations because we are able to collect data so we are hoping this conference allows a sharing experience and countries to learn from each other."

He said the availability of basic tourism statistics across Pacific Island countries was inconsistent, variable and incomplete.

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