Top shark dive spot

FIJI has gained a significant foothold in the lucrative shark dive market after being voted the Best Shark Diving Destination by global dive bible, EZDIVE Magazine.

Tourism Fiji’s marketing manager for the Asia Market Kathy Koyamaibole received the award on behalf of the country at the Dive Resort Travel Expo in Shanghai, China, last month.

The expo was the only professional diving exhibition in China, developed specifically for the diving industry in Shanghai and attracts exhibitors — enthusiastic diving resorts and live-aboard operators — from all over the Asia-Pacific region.

Shark diving tourism was worth about $87million for Fiji annually.

“Fiji’s shark dive was definitely top of mind for most of the dive clubs and visitors to the expo,” Ms Koyamaibole said.

“Receiving this award was a formalisation of that. Where in the world can you dive and expect to see more than seven species of sharks in one dive while also feeding them without cages?”

“That’s why Fiji is no doubt the best destination to experience shark diving.”

Partners and Fijian resort representatives who attended the expo shared similar sentiments, saying the event was an excellent platform to market Fiji’s dive tourism.

Leleuvia Island Resort manager Colin Philp said the opportunities for Fiji Tourism were endless.

“The expo has been an amazing opportunity for Leleuvia Island Resort to exhibit to the lucrative Chinese dive market,” he said.

“The quality of the expo, the high percentage of travel agents and contacts made with dive clubs and service suppliers far outweigh the costs in attending so we hope to be back next year.”

Volivoli Beach Resorts’ Susie Erbe, a frequent exhibitor at the dive expo shows in Asia, said she was very impressed with the increased volume of visitors.

“They seemed genuinely interested in booking dive holidays and for Fiji in particular,” she said.

“I feel the show is now a necessity for those wishing to reach divers based in China.”

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