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Our First Domestic Tourism Demand Study Launched

Tourism operators will need to develop new, targeted strategies and packages to attract local tourists. The comment from the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association and Australia’s Market Development Facility followed
22 Sep 2021 11:30
Our First Domestic Tourism Demand Study Launched

Tourism operators will need to develop new, targeted strategies and packages to attract local tourists.

The comment from the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association and Australia’s Market Development Facility followed the launch of a joint study on the country’s local tourism demand.

The study, a first for Fiji, showed that Nadi was the most visited holiday destination for local tourists.

It said the Coral Coast and Suva ranked second and third respectively as the most visited holiday destination in the country.

The launch of the findings follow the lifting of containment borders in Viti Levu.

The findings were designed to help tourism stakeholders better understand different tourism segments.

It was also designed to help, target more effectively and cater to the local tourism market.

 

Boost
According to the study, the reopening of borders in Viti Levu was expected to provide the tourism sector with a much-needed boost.

Most local tourists used long weekends as their holiday time, ahead of Christmas and school holidays, the study said.

The majority of local tourists comprised expatriates, followed by premium leisure, adventure and couples, the study showed.

On average, local tourists spent $985 for a two-night stay, the study said.

A typical accommodation spend involved $150 to $200 a night stay.

The study said 35 per cent of local tourists stayed where accommodation costs included breakfast, while 34 per cent stayed where lunch and dinner were included in accommodation costs.

Just 18 per cent stayed where activities were involved, the survey said.

However, most local tourists stayed with family and friends, while 44 per cent stayed at paid accommodation sites.

 

Most Popular Regions
The study found that 91 per cent of Fiji’s local tourists visited Nadi, the Coral Coast, Suva and Pacific Harbour.

The study said the majority of Fiji’s local tourists, or 55 per cent, visited Denarau, Nadi.

Other most popular regions were:

o   Coral Coast – 25 per cent.

o   Suva and Pacific Harbour – 11 per cent.

o   Mamanuca Group – two per cent.

o   Savusavu – two per cent.

o   Suncoast – two per cent.

Three per cent listed other destinations, the report said.

“Only nine per cent of local tourists reported taking holidays to other tourism regions in Fiji,” the study said.

 

Activities
The joint study found that the most popular activities local tourists enjoyed were:

o   packaged day cruises – 67 per cent

o   water-based destinations, where dividing, fishing, dolphin watching were offered – 57 per cent.

o   music and food festivals – 51 per cent.

o   land-based destinations where hiking and historical sites were offered – 49 per cent.

o   adventure centres such as rafting, off roading, and sky diving venues – 49 per cent.

Social media served as the most used key source of holiday information at 54 per cent, followed by word of mouth at 45 per cent.

Hotel websites were the least used of the three key sources of holiday information sources.

 

Fiji’s Most Sought After Destinations
Savusavu topped the most sought after destinations, with 26 per cent of people indicating interest.

Yasawa and the Mamanuca groups were the second most sought after destinations for local tourists, at 24 per cent.

Taveuni was noted as the third most sought after destination for local tourists, at 18 per cent, while Suncoast, in Rakiraki, recorded eight per cent interest.

Suva and Pacific Harbour recorded eight per cent of interest as their most sought after destinations.

The Lau group and Labasa noted a three per cent interest as destinations to visit, while Kadavu and Lomaiviti recorded two per cent interest.

 

Niche Destinations
Under the most sought-after niche destinations, Savusavu was first, followed by Mamanucas and Yasawa in a tie at second place.

Taveuni listed third on the list of the most sought-after niche destination.

Local tourists said Fiji’s popular destinations were also their most sought-after spots.

“Locals are also looking to explore new regions and other islands including Vanua Levu, Taveuni and the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups,” the study said.

 

Locals
Over 10,000 online survey responses and follow-up interviews determined the findings of the survey.

Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya, said the study would build on the success of the ministry’s Love Our Locals campaign.

He urged tourism operators to continue developing packages for locals, while the country embarked on its journey to welcome the return of international visitors.

“Locals have been the greatest supporters of our tourism industry and economy.”

“And we want this to remain.”

“With the finding of this report, we want to ensure domestic tourism remains the foundation of the Fijian tourism industry and our every other national agenda.”

“In fact, domestic tourism will now take on a greater significance as part of our Tourism Fiji marketing strategy.”

 

Tourism Fiji
Tourism Fiji also helped in the study.

Tourism Fiji’s chief executive officer, Brent Hill said the study was one of the most comprehensive local market studies, which has given extensive insights to help encourage local Fijians to explore the country.

Mr Hill said research was underway in key markets of Australia, New Zealand and North America.

“This will greatly complement existing insights and help to inform Fiji’s re-entry efforts,” he said.

The study helped instill confidence in Fiji’s re-entry plans, Mr Hill said.

 

Fiji Hotel And Tourism Association
Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association chief executive officer, Fantasha Lockington, said local tourism operators relied on basic price discounting strategies, but lacked the market research to effectively identify and target domestic tourism segments, so this study is very timely.

 

Market Development Facility
Market Development Facility Fiji country director Malcolm Bossley said plans were in place to carry out a follow-up on consultations with tourism stakeholders, on the key findings and recommendations of the report.

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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