TOURIST arrivals into the Pacific have been steady.
Aspects of globalisation, such as the proliferation of a competitive airline industry and the ability to compare resorts, destinations and countries have driven down costs, making travel cheaper and helping discover new treasures in the ocean.
Data is sparse across the region, however the World Bank estimates arrivals into the Pacific through 2011 topped 1.5m people with an average annual growth rate of 4.9 per cent over the past decade.
The ANZ Asia Pacific Economics quarterly report says majority of these visitors were destined for Fiji, which was the recipient of 43 per cent of all visits in 2011.
“Most visitors still originate from Australia and New Zealand where data on departures are available through 2013.
“Well over 60 per cent of the visitor arrivals into the Pacific came from the antipodes (Australia and NZ).”
However, the report says the trend of growth in arrivals has declined. Notably, despite reasonable GDP growth and stronger currencies over the past few years, the rate of growth of arrivals into the Pacific has fallen to the single digits.
In 2013, it reports arrivals to the Pacific grew 2.7 per cent, compared with 3.7 per cent in 2012.
On an absolute basis, it adds arrivals from these two countries totalled 902,960 in 2013.
“These arrivals provide important services receipts (foreign income) for Pacific economies, while also contributing significantly to GDP in some.”
Suva (Fiji Times)