Tourist arrivals up

FIJI’S tourism industry generally firmed up in the third quarter of 2017 with high visitor arrivals at 78,164 last month.

The provisional visitor arrivals released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS) on Monday noted that October 2017 arrivals represented an increase of 6.2 per cent compared with a year earlier.

The provisional numbers had also slightly increased from 77,029 in September to 78,164 in October of this year.

This was driven by higher tourist numbers noted from New Zealand, US, Continental Europe, Pacific Islands, Rest of Asia including South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

The bureau noted that October’s visitor arrivals mainly comprised tourists with 77.1 per cent of total arrivals was accounted by visitors arriving for holiday purposes.

The other 7.2 per cent of total visitors visited the country last month to visit their friends or relatives, 4.0 per cent came for business purposes while 11.7 per cent visited Fiji for other reasons.

A decrease was however noted from Australia, one of Fiji’s traditional tourism markets, which declined by 4.0 per cent including China (down by 3.2 per cent and Canada which went down by 7.5 per cent.

But comparing 12 monthly numbers ending October 2017, the total number of visitors to Fiji increased by 6.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, the central bank had noted in its September quarter review that visitor arrivals noted an annual growth of 6.6 per cent cumulative to September.

Visitor arrivals are anticipated to grow by an annual 5.0 per cent in 2017.

Cumulative to September, the central bank recorded a rise in visitor arrivals on an annual basis by 6.6 per cent to 622,139 tourists, higher than the 4.2 per cent growth recorded in the same period last year.

Over the first quarter of this year, tourism earnings rose on an annual basis by 10.7 per cent to $377.3 million, compared with a 9.7 per cent growth noted in the same quarter last year. Major contributors to these earnings were Australia, New Zealand, US, UK and the Pacific Islands.

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