Business

Fijian tourism still has upper hand: Seeto

Source: Travel Weekly, Australia Fiji’s hotel sector remains unfazed by growing tourism numbers to its South Pacific neighbours, according to the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association. President Dixon Seeto
14 Oct 2012 10:21

Two cruise liners berthed at the Suva King’s Wharf on Saturday. P&O Cruise, Pacific Jewel (left), is a cruise ship currently operated by P&O Cruises Australia, and operating from Sydney, Australia. Owner is P&O Cruises Australia Carnival Spirit (right), was the first Spirit class cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Lines. She was also the first new “Fun Ship” to sail to Alaska and Hawaii. 80% of the cabins are on the outside of the ship, and of these outside cabins, 80% have balconies. Photo: JONA KONATACI

Source: Travel Weekly, Australia

Fiji’s hotel sector remains unfazed by growing tourism numbers to its South Pacific neighbours, according to the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association.
President Dixon Seeto conceded that rival destinations were becoming more competitive.
However he insisted Fiji still had the upper hand.
“They have learnt from us, learnt to price product competitively and upgraded their product,” he told Travel Today. “But in Fiji we have a more mature product and there is more stuff you can do here.”
Seeto also referred to better air access as a major advantage for Fiji.

TOURIST ARRIVALS
Meanwhile, guest arrivals this year had been “very strong,” he revealed, with growth of around 8%.
Last year, Fiji welcomed a record 675,000 visitors, exceeding the previous year’s record of 630,000.
Australians accounts for 50% of arrivals while New Zealanders stand at around 16%.
Strong growth and solid occupancies were seeing hoteliers turn away from heavy discounting, with Seeto branding it “unnecessary”.
“Most hotels are getting back to a normal rate structure,” he said. Discounting is now used only “when needed” in off-peak periods or when big groups are involved.
Instead operators are increasingly looking to the MICE sector to build sales in the low season.

WHOLESALE
Although, direct sales are “coming”, Fiji’s hotels continue to be “wholesale driven,” according to Seeto.
“When a wholesaler gives you so much traffic, they can help you compete in terms of prices,” he said.
He revealed that, on average, popular hotels with “good wholesale supply” are recording occupancies of around 80%.

BACKPACKERS
Meanwhile, the backpacker market, which accounts for around 10% of visitors, has dipped slightly due to a restructuring of round the world fares.
“Fiji used to be a free stopover and a lot of backpackers were taking advantage of that,” he said.
S  eeto applauded the work of Tourism Fiji saying it was “doing enough” but urged the government to increase its budget.
“Much more” is needed to assist Air Pacific with marketing over the next year, he said.
“New markets need more money,” he insisted.




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper