Facts Behind Our Visitor Arrival Numbers

This is an informative publication, sponsored by The Fiji Sun, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and HFC Bank. All views expressed or implied are purely of the Treasurer at the HFC
25 Feb 2017 11:44
Facts Behind Our Visitor Arrival Numbers

This is an informative publication, sponsored by The Fiji Sun, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and HFC Bank. All views expressed or implied are purely of the Treasurer at the HFC Bank, Peter Fuata.


Fiji is renowned for its tourism services and yields a lot of growth from this industry. Tourism has exploded since the 1980s and is the leading economic activity in the islands.

With this, it is vital for our country to keep track of the performance of our tourism industry and monitor any movements on a monthly and annual basis.

Our major arrivals are Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Pacific Islands, Continental Europe and China

Fiji’s annual Visitor Arrival number reached a new high of 792,320 in 2016. This was 5.0% more than the previous record of 754,835, which was set in 2015.

Contributing to the record level of visitor arrivals in 2016 were increases from the following countries;

New Zealand (25,299 to 163,836)

China (8,909 to 49,083)

Rest of Asia (6,177 to 20,558)

USA (1,797 to 69,628)

South Korea (1,371 to 8,071)

Pacific Islands (1,171 to 49,741)

Continental Europe (721 to 31,916)

Japan (182 to 6,274) and Canada (71 to 11,780).

Monthly visitor numbers topped the 80,000 mark for the first time ever in July with 85,704 arrivals.

The 2016 visitor numbers from New Zealand (163,836) and China (49,083) were the highest ever in a given year.

Visitor numbers from Fiji’s top two source markets, Australia (360,370) and New Zealand (163,836) equate to average daily arrivals of 987 and 449 respectively.

Visitors arriving for holiday purposes totalled 600,887 (75.8%), 68,262 (8.6%) came to visit friends or relatives, 32,922 (4.2%) came for business purposes while 90,249 (11.4%) visited Fiji for other reasons.


There were significant increases in the number of visitors arriving for the following purposes:

1.Business Related (7,874 to 32,922)

2.Visiting Friends and Relatives (21,468 to 68,262)

The July visitor arrival number of 85,704 was the highest in 2016, followed by the months of August and October with arrival figures of 76,347 and 73,595 respectively.


The peak arrival months by country and number were as follows;

1.Australia – December with 36,130 visitors

2.New Zealand – July with 24,376 visitors

3.United States of America – July with 8,311 visitors

4.China – February with 6,123 visitors

5.United Kingdom – July with 1,683 visitors

6.Canada – July with 1,393 visitors


The majority of visitors to Fiji in December 2016 were in the age range 25-64 (62.6%), which accounts for the vast majority of the working age population.

Children aged 14 and below accounted for 17.2% of the December visitor arrivals; 14.4% were youths aged 15-24 with the remaining 5.8% comprising those in the predominantly retirement age group of 65 and over.


The top 5 Occupational Groups for visitors engaged in gainful employment in their home countries are as follows;

1.Professional Workers – 14,426

2.Legislators – 9,304

3.Technician and Related Workers – 6,523

4.Service Workers – 5,777

5.Craft and Related Workers – 3,512

Visitors who are not in the labour force were categorised into two major groups.


The categories and numbers are as follows;

1.Retirees, Housewives, Children & Others – 11,568

2.Students – 17,262

Given that our two major arrival countries are Australia and New Zealand we need to keep a close eye on their trends as they have the greatest influence on our tourism industry performance.

Australian percentage of total arrivals on Fiji shores has been declining since 2014 albeit holding their number 1 spot at above 360,000 visitors annually.

This highlights increase in market share of other country’s visitor arrivals such as New Zealand, China and Rest of Asia.

The Australian visitor arrival decline should be investigated to find possible reasons behind the gradual decline and find ways to attract more visitors from our largest visitor country.

Likewise we can certainly look into the reason behind the increase in China and Rest of Asia visitors to our shore and find ways to attract more customers from these nations as they are a great opportunity due to their large population.

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