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Tourism Industry Important

Tourism Industry Important
April 15
11:00 2017

This is an informative publication, sponsored by The Fiji Sun, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and HFC Bank. All views expressed or implied are purely of the Treasurer at the HFC Bank, Peter Fuata.

 

Fiji is renowned for its tourism services and yields a lot of growth from this industry. Tourism has exploded since the 1980s and is the leading economic activity in the islands. With this, it is vital for our country to keep track of the performance of our tourism industry and monitor any movements on a monthly and annual basis.

Our major arrivals are Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Pacific Islands, Continental Europe and China

The visitor arrivals for February 2017 totalled 43,876, a decrease of 1.1 per cent compared with a year earlier.

There were decreases in the number of visitors from:

  • China [down 2,052 or 33.5 per cent to 4,071]
  • Pacific Islands [down 290 or 5.8 per cent to 4,712]
  • Rest of Asia [down 182 or 10.8 per cent to 1,505]
  • Continental Europe [down 152 or 6.2 per cent to 2,295]
  • Australia [down 102 or 0.6 per cent to 15,603]
  • Other Countries [down 31 or 8.1 per cent to 350] and
  • The United Kingdom [down 9 or 0.7 per cent to 1,325].

However, increases were recorded in the number of visitors from the following countries:

  • The United States of America [1,301 or 30.7 per cent to 5,538]
  • New Zealand [669 or 12.0 per cent to 6,228]
  • Japan [247 or 52.2 per cent to 720]
  • South Korea [130 or 25.8 per cent to 633] and
  • Canada [2 or 0.2 per cent to 896].

Visitors arriving for holiday purposes accounted for 66.6 per cent of total arrivals, 9.8 per cent came to visit their friends or relatives, 6.6 per cent came for business purposes, while 17.0 per cent visited Fiji for other reasons.

Table 1 below presents actual numbers and the 2017 and 2016 comparisons of visitor arrivals for the month of February, six months to February and 12 months to February 2017.

Refer to table 1 above

In the moving twelve monthly numbers ending February 2017, the total number of visitors to Fiji increased by 4.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.

The moving six monthly numbers ending February 2017, showed that visitor arrivals increased by 5.6 per cent over the corresponding period in 2016, up from 368,584 to 389,379.

The majority of visitors to Fiji in February 2017 were in the age range 25-64 (68.4 per cent), which accounts for the vast majority of the working age population. Children aged 14 and below accounted for 9.1 per cent of the February visitor arrivals; 13.3 per cent were youths aged 15-24 with the remaining 9.2 per cent comprising those in the predominantly retirement age group of 65 and over.

 

Visitors by Occupation

The top 5 Occupational Groups for visitors engaged in gainful employment in their home countries are as follows;

  1. Professional Workers – 7,872
  2. Legislators – 6,228
  3. Technician and Related Workers – 4,528
  4. Service Workers – 4,461
  5. Craft Workers – 2,006

Visitors who are not in the labour force were categorised into two major groups. The categories and numbers are as follows;

  1. Retirees, Housewives, Children & Others – 9,721
  2. Students – 6,087

Given that our two major arrival countries are Australia and New Zealand we need to keep a close eye on their trends as they have the greatest influence on our tourism industry performance.

Australian percentage of total arrivals on Fiji shores has been declining since 2014 albeit holding their number 1 spot for visitors annually.

This highlights increase in market share of other country’s visitor arrivals such as New Zealand, USA, China and Rest of Asia.

The Australian visitor arrival decline should be investigated to find possible reasons behind the gradual decline and find ways to attract more visitors from our largest source of visitors.

Likewise we can certainly look into the reason behind the increase in China and Rest of Asia visitors to our shore and find ways to attract more customers from these nations as they are a great opportunity due to their large population.

Travel services is the highest earner for international trade in services for Fiji through tourism.

The tourism industry has contributed significantly to Fiji’s economy and is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner.

As at February 2017, although trade on goods for Fiji has a deficit, trade in services for Fiji is a surplus and offsets the deficits.

Highlighting our very competitive tourism industry where we export our services with a smile and BULA.

 

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