Fiji absorbed about 40 per cent of the 1.5 million inbound tourists in the Pacific in the recent years, a report has revealed.
ANZ’s Pacific Quarterly report released Monday highlighted this.
It noted that whilst majority of arrivals were still from Australia, Chinese tourists are now the quickest growing source of visitor arrivals.
“Fiji is one of the largest Pacific economies and is systemically important to the tourism industry in the Pacific,” the report said.
“From 2002 through 2012, annual tourist arrivals into Fiji climbed from 397,859 to 660,590, averaging growth of 6.3 per cent per year.
“The rapid growth in arrivals into Fiji are because of the fact tourism infrastructure has been built out over the past decade.
“As Fiji has shown, strong and ongoing investments have driven the tourism industry to be one of the largest sources of GDP.
“Eight airlines now fly to the country and the number of properties available to tourists is 4.4 times the average in the Pacific.”
Breakdown by sector
The report indicated Australia continued to provide Fiji with the most tourism flow, accounting for 48 per cent of all arrivals over the past five years.
New Zealand was the second largest source of visitors at a 16 per cent share.
But the report said there are structural changes occurring to the makeup of Fiji’s tourism sector, and these are likely to accelerate over the coming years.
“Chinese tourists now account for four per cent of arrivals into Fiji as of 2012, up from zero per cent only five years ago,” it said.
“In addition, growth rates of Chinese visitor arrivals over the most recent years have outstripped all other visiting nations.”
Suva (Fiji Times)