Business

Shark diving help lures tourists: Gow

By LITIA MATHEWSELL Fiji’s spectacular shark diving continues to play a pivotal role in luring international travellers for local tourism, with stakeholders committed to ensuring continuous efforts for its conservation.
20 Apr 2013 10:50

Local diving suppliers network with international agents and suppliers during the Fiji Hotel and Toursim Association Dive Expo on the Plantation Island Resort yesterday. Photo:LITIA MATHEWSELL

By LITIA MATHEWSELL

Fiji’s spectacular shark diving continues to play a pivotal role in luring international travellers for local tourism, with stakeholders committed to ensuring continuous efforts for its conservation.
Speaking at the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association’s Dive Expo in the Mamanuca Islands yesterday, chair of the Dive Committee Stuart Gow said the thrill of this activity has helped spread the tourism dollar over the country by divers wanting to experience a variety of diving activities.
He said local conservation efforts towards sharks and the marine ecosystem helped rake in diving travellers as they were assured of excellent diving spots and shark sightings.
XPERT Holidays Diving Manager Vicky Cheung said the diving travellers provided by her Hong-Kong based agency was particularly due to the thrilling adventure provided by shark diving in Beqa waters.
‘’This is just amazing for the Chinese market because they have so many bull sharks so we can guarantee sightings for our clients.”
She added that accessibility was another important factor and it was easy to fly into Nadi from Hong Kong and drive to Pacific Harbour for shark diving.
While last year’s floods and cyclone caused an obvious decline in dive travellers from her Hong Kong-based agency, she remains confident of numbers picking up.
She also expressed her delight at the vibrant shark diving sites provided in Taveuni following a site earlier this week.
Shark diving has indeed risen as a key market for Fiji tourism, with a 2010 study showing that it raked in US$4.2 million.




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