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$1.93 Billion Target Set for Visitor Spend By 2020

The Tourism Ministry is targeting $1.93 billion in direct visitor spending in Fiji by 2020, a target well achievable says Tourism Fiji chairman, Stefan Pichler. Speaking at the closing of
29 Oct 2014 12:42
$1.93 Billion Target Set for Visitor Spend By 2020
Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya (left) and Rosie Group managing director, Tony Whitton, during Tourism Fiji’s Industry Day yesterday. Photo: VARANISESE NASILASILA

The Tourism Ministry is targeting $1.93 billion in direct visitor spending in Fiji by 2020, a target well achievable says Tourism Fiji chairman, Stefan Pichler.

Speaking at the closing of the Tourism Fiji Industry Day 2014 at InterContinental Golf Resort & Spa in Natadola, Mr Pichler said the target meant 6.1 per cent growth rate per year.

And, the industry also intends to add 10,000 more jobs to the already 108,500 employed in the sector.

“As you’ve heard today, we have a clear set of objectives for Tourism Fiji, laid out by Government, our stakeholders and ourselves,” he said.

“Yes, we will increase our contribution to Fiji’s GDP from 35.8 per cent to around 39 per cent because we are able to grow faster than other sectors.

“But, right now, I see us as being at the beginning of the path, the path which ultimately leads to the goals I just mentioned.”
Mr Pichler said the challenge for all in the industry, not just for Tourism Fiji, was how do we grow visitor spending, jobs and GDP?
He outlined four targets for the industry to assist in this feat.

“First, we need to develop a Tourism Master Plan which includes our vision for 2025/2030 – what we want to achieve,” he said.

“Secondly, we need to institutionalise these targets, we need to know how get there in a sustainable way.

“We cannot forget the unique culture and environmental factors in our beautiful country which must always be taken into consideration.

“After all, it is these very same cultural and environmental attributes, which really sets Fiji apart from other destinations.”
Mr Pichler said key issues such as what source markets do we open up; what market segments, what clusters of holiday makers do we target in each market; what products do we need to develop or do we need to offer  are some of the things to focus on.

Fiji’s Tourism Forum
Mr Pichler believes they are still a fragmented industry which needs to come together and agree and tick of their action items.
“Hotel operators, incoming agencies, infrastructure providers, airlines, Tourism Fiji – and the Ministry – we need to drive the agenda,” he said.

“This forum will not be a barrier to decision making, but rather, a fast track to assist making decisions faster and more holistic.”
The Forum could also assist the Government by assessing threats to the industry and offer solutions.

“When we look at the world today, you can see how certain issues pose a threat to entire countries, and their tourism industries,” Mr Pichler said.

“Be it diseases like Ebola, terrorism or natural disasters: tourism destinations need to respond to threats quickly. They don’t have the luxury of taking their time to make decisions.

“It would be naïve to think that Fiji will be immune from these external threats which will affect all of us in this room.”
He said the industry had to be proactive and help the Government formulate appropriate responses to situations which affect us all.
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