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Cruise Vessels To Contribute To Fijian Tourism’s 2021 $2.2 Billion Target

The Fijian tourism industry has contributed significantly to positioning the economy to where it is today. However, it is equally important to recognise that there is still so much more Fiji can do and achieve.
06 Nov 2019 11:19
Cruise Vessels To Contribute To Fijian Tourism’s 2021 $2.2 Billion Target
Cruise tourists disembark at the Port of Suva.

The Fijian tourism industry has contributed significantly to positioning the economy to where it is today. However, it is equally important to recognise that there is still so much more Fiji can do and achieve.

Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar made the statement during the  launching of International Finance Corporation Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism (IFC-MITT) study titled Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Fiji.

The event was hosted by IFC, Market Development Facility (MDF) and the MITT.

“To guide the industry forward, the national sectoral plan, Fijian Tourism 2021 (FT 2021), sets the overarching policy agenda for the sustainable development of the sector,” Minister Kumar said.

Sitting from left: Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar, Australian High Commisioner to Fiji John Feakes and International Finance Corporation Country Manager Pacific Thomas Jacobs garlanded during the launching of International Finance Corporation Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism (IFC-MITT) study titled Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Fiji. Photo: Wati Talebula

Sitting from left: Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar, Australian High Commisioner to Fiji John Feakes and International Finance Corporation Country Manager Pacific Thomas Jacobs garlanded during the launching of International Finance Corporation Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism (IFC-MITT) study titled
Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Fiji. Photo: Wati Talebula

“FT 2021 is especially designed to maximise tourism yield, while achieving a sustainable flow of visitors,” Mrs Kumar said.

“Therefore, increasing the value of tourism to $2.2 billion by 2021, forms the foundation of the plan; a target that we want to achieve.

“The Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Fiji provides key recommendations for the public and private sector to understand the cruise market better taking this sector forward.

“It helps determine ways to continue adding value by diversifying our tourism products and services over a wider spectrum, with specific focus on port destinations that are still lagging behind.

Mrs Kumar added: “It will also assist in improving the overall cruise experience, ensuring cruise visitors spend more onshore and with local service providers.

“With the successful conclusion of this study, we now know what the current economic benefits are, what it could be, and how to get there.

Thomas Jacob IFC country manager according to Mrs Kumar has rightfully stated, that investment opportunities if implemented can add FJ$90.07million to the Fijian economy the next 10 years.

“For Fiji, in 2018, we received a record 187,890 cruise passengers which was approximately a two per cent increase compared to 2017,” she said.

“In terms of the earnings from cruise passengers, Fiji noted a record FJ$11.3million in 2018 as compared to $10.4million in 2017, which is a 9.4 per cent increase.

“The number of cruise vessels have also been increasing year-on-year.”

She said in the last few decades, global demand for cruising has presented some significant benefits, as well as its fair share of challenges.

“As you’ll note from the study, the private sector is the bigger beneficiary, receiving an estimated 70 per cent of the revenue from cruise tourism,  and the Fijian Government getting 28 per cent.

“The study also reveals a strong correlation between cruise passenger satisfaction and spending.

“The more satisfied passengers are with the variety of things to see, do and purchase, the longer they stay onshore and the more they spend.

Mrs Kumar also highlighted the importance of the role the municipal councils play.

“The municipal councils must put in strategy to attract tourists to their cities and towns offering more activities to cruise liners,” she said.

“And one way to do this is to ensure that shops and services are open on Sundays and on public holidays.

“I’m happy to say, two key strategies of the FT 2021 geared towards the growth of the cruise/yacht industry have now been completed and delivered.”

Feedbackwati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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