ADB report makes key recommendations on Fiji’s tourism sector

Wholesale and Retail, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture sectors continued to attract large number of investors in the country. Picture: FILE

VISITOR numbers across six Pacific Island countries have increased by almost 50 per cent in the past 10 years.

In Fiji, Tourist arrivals in Fiji increased by 38.5 per cent in the 10 years between 2005 and 2015.

But a new brief from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns that continued tourism sector growth will not happen automatically, and that its benefits will continue to be unevenly distributed unless governments take action.

The brief – Tourism as a Driver of Growth in the Pacific: A Pathway to Growth and Prosperity for Pacific Island Countries – makes a number of recommendations to ensure the sector’s growth does not stagnate.

“While many Pacific countries are using tourism effectively to generate income and employment, opportunities exist to expand and increase its benefits and ensure its sustainability,” said Rob Jauncey, Regional Advisor with ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office.

“As Pacific countries develop and pursue strategies to grow their tourism sectors, ADB stands ready to offer insight and advice, and provide technical assistance, finance, or coordination support.”

The brief was produced by ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), a regional technical assistance program undertaken in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

PSDI works with ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth.

It has operated in the region for 11 years and assisted with more than 300 reforms.

*More in tomorrow’s The Fiji Times and on our e-edition.