SUNBIZ

ANALYSIS: Fiji Leads Pacific With Highest Visitor Arrivals

The Chinese are coming. And having an impact, new gifures illustrate. Fiji continues to lead the Pacific with the highest visitor arrivals. It welcomed 143,447 in the first quarter of
25 Jul 2015 10:02
ANALYSIS: Fiji Leads Pacific With Highest Visitor Arrivals
Chinese tourists in Palau swimming from their boat in the ‘Milky Way’

The Chinese are coming. And having an impact, new gifures illustrate.

Fiji continues to lead the Pacific with the highest visitor arrivals. It welcomed 143,447 in the first quarter of this year out of the total 380,870 visitors to the region.

Overall, the Pacific region has recorded a seven per cent increase in the number of visitor arrivals for the first quarter.

The figures were released by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) this week.

Following Fiji was Palau with 48,647 visitor arrivals and Papua New Guinea at 42,678.

The increase noted by Palau is remarkable and has been attributed to direct flights from Chinese markets.

Chinese tourists which visited the region showed a 151 per cent positive growth compared to the same quarter in 2014.

Of this, 63 per cent visited Palau while 23 per cent visited Fiji.

The Chinese visitor arrivals to Palau increased significantly from December 2014 because of the direct flights from Hong Kong and Macau.

As a result, the highest growth recorded during this period was by Palau (72.7 per cent).

Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu experienced a drop in their visitor arrivals.

SPTO chief executive Ilisoni Vuidreketi said the review provides accurate data for planning which is imperative for growth and development of the tourism sector.

“This review provides a fair analysis of the individual Pacific Island countries  tourist arrivals and is a good gauge of future trends in our region,” he said.

“The gradual increase of visitor arrivals in Palau is commendable and is attributed to direct flights from mainland China.

“Overall, the visitor arrivals into the South Pacific remained on a steady growth particularly from the major source markets of Australia and New Zealand and this is very encouraging.”

The report indicated Australian tourists continue to dominate the visitor arrivals into the South Pacific.

A total of 115,581 Australian tourists visited the region during the review with Fiji dominating the market share at 58.4 per cent with 67, 552 visitors.

Papua New Guinea stood at 17.4 per cent with 20,110 visitors.

 

What the Chinese numbers

mean?

The large visitor arrivals in Palau, a beautiful North Pacific small islands country with around 18,000 population, is indeed notable.

As mentioned earlier, this increase is attributed to direct flights from Chinese airports.

After all, at the moment, there is a growing number of Chinese who are seeking new frontiers abroad and a lot of countries with tourism focus are tapping into this market.

These Chinese travelers are not only visiting places, but they are also spending thousands to have the best vacation possible.

Palau welcomed around 141,000 visitors the past year, up 34 per cent in 2013. This was largely on the back of Chinese visitors.

Tourism is said to account for close to 85 per cent of Palau’s gross domestic product.

The numbers are indicative of the benefits of having direct flights from mainland China.

And for a country like Palau which does not have a national airline like oursthe figures from China are a lot.

Our national airline is also exloring to have flights from mainland China, as well as the current Hong Kong flights.

Tony Whitton and his Nadi-based Rosie Group have already pioneered charter flights from the mainland using Fiji Airways.

Whatever destination is chosen, at the end of the day tapping into the Chinese travel and tourism market will surely benefit the country. As has been evident from Palau’s case.

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: