SUNBIZ

Ali Stresses Need For Us To Capitalise And Explore Chinese Tourism

The Chinese tourist market provides a lot of opportunities that Fiji needs to explore and fully capitalise on, says Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali. Mr Ali
17 Dec 2016 11:00
Ali Stresses Need For Us To Capitalise And Explore Chinese Tourism
Shaheen Ali

The Chinese tourist market provides a lot of opportunities that Fiji needs to explore and fully capitalise on, says Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali.

Mr Ali said this was given China’s domestic economy continues to record a healthy growth, with more and more Chinese travellers heading abroad.

“The Chinese market is increasingly being a key source market for tourists to Fiji,” he said.

“China with its 1.4 billion people, is the largest travel market in the world. According to World Tourism Organisation, China had 120 million outbound tourists in 2015 and they spent US$194.5 billion.”

Last year, Fiji received a record 40,174 Chinese visitors, a remarkable 42 per cent increase when compared to 2014.

Mr Ali said China has the fourth largest market share of 5.3 per cent following the traditional source markets of Australia with 49 per cent, New Zealand (18%) and USA (9%).

Therefore, in order to capitalise on this market segment, strategies have been identified in the Fijian Tourism Development Plan.

The Plan identifies the need for specialised language training, or provide translators and also visitor information in the Chinese language.

These include the development of language skills through Mandarin training for Fiji’s tourism industry, have signs and information in the Chinese language, as well as encourage more Chinese-friendly products.

Mr Ali said the Fijian private sector is also complimenting the Fijian Government’s plans and strategies to attract visitors.

“For example, Rosie Holidays launch of Fiji’s first ever mobile digital travel application in August. The app is also available in Mandarin,” he said.

Additionally, Mr Ali said there is an increasing number of Chinese investors in the hotel and hospitality sector that caters for the interests of Chinese travelers.

Furthermore, it has been noted that Chinese between the ages of 26 to 46 years make up 70 per cent of Chinese travelling the world and a large portion of the Chinese tourist’s expenditure is on shopping.

 

The tourism development plan

Mr Ali said the Fijian Tourism Development Plan, to be launched in March next year, clearly underscores Fiji’s vision to position itself as the best tourism destination in the region.

“The focus of the Plan is to increase tourism earnings, making the tourism sector a $2.2 billion industry, by increasing yield rather than numbers,” he said.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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