Minister highlights contribution of cruise tourism to Fiji

Tourists from the cruise ship Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas prepare for a ride on the jet boat Excitor at the Lautoka port. Picture: FILE

The cruise market brought 740,000 to Fiji in 2019.

Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate said this when he officiated at the welcoming ceremony of tourists on board the Pacific Explorer at the Port of Lautoka on Monday.

The minister shared that the cruise market was a significant part of the Fijian tourism industry and the addition of large ships such as the Pacific Explorer cemented Fiji as a strong destination for cruising and boost our tourism numbers.

“The cruise ships industry benefits medium and small enterprises and our industry has once again look forward to welcoming cruise ships to Fiji to indulge with local cuisine, finding unique gifts or taking some of Fiji’s breathtaking landscapes,” Mr Usamate said.

“It’s an honour to welcome Pacific Explorer back to Fiji, the vessel carries 830 crew with around 1147 passengers who are ready to explore Fiji and Lautoka.

“The arrival of this boat signifies its confidence in Fiji as a safe port of entry and this will contribute to the strong recovery of the tourism sector.”

Meanwhile, local handicraft sellers and small businesses lined up at the port on Monday to showcase to visitors locally-made crafts.

Entertainment and local dances were part of the occasion to mark the arrival of a cruise ship after more than two years.

The ship employs 12 Fijians and travelled to Dravuni, Kadavu before it continued its journey to New Zealand.

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