Fiji Can Replace Hawaii For Canadians

“I think this flight will really increase the tourist and business travel from Canada, and especially from Vancouver,” Mr Berukoff said.
16 Aug 2022 15:29
Fiji Can Replace Hawaii For Canadians

Fiji could replace Hawaii as the go-to tropical destination for Canadians if promoted properly, a frequent-flier and business leader has said.

Lion One Metals president and Chief Executive Officer, Wally Berukoff, was one of the many travellers on the inaugural direct flight from Nadi to Vancouver last week.

He is a Canadian miner who travels to Fiji for developments concerning an alkaline gold project he founded in Tuvatu 17 years ago.

“I think this flight will really increase the tourist and business travel from Canada, and especially from Vancouver,” Mr Berukoff said.


His sentiments were echoed by Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer, Andre Viljoen, who said Fiji was trying to tap into the mid-market, to take away some of the traffic out of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Tourism Authority lists Canada as the second largest international market, and fourth largest source market overall for its visitors. In 2019, spending by Canadian visitors to Hawaii dropped 3.2 per cent to US$1.07 billion (FJ$2.33 billion), the authority said.

Tourism Fiji Chief Executive Officer, Brent Hill, said the availability of non-stop flights to Fiji, the great value in price points, options for accommodation and low density in accommodation, worked in Fiji’s favour.

“We had a really positive reception from Canada’s travel industry and trade,” Mr Hill said.


Typically, Canadians head south to Mexico and the Caribbean for warmer holidays. Fiji opens its routes to Vancouver from November 25, following its inaugural flight from Nadi on August 9.

Ahead of its 2019 statistics, Fiji has blown its stretched targets out of the water, with a 27 per cent lead in hotel and airline bookings to 2023.

“It’s been really successful so far; we had to reopen on December 1 – that was critical,” Mr Hill said.

“It goes to show the happiness of Fiji’s open air. The story of Fiji’s recovery is an impressive one. Coming out of COVID-19, Fiji is what the world is looking for.”


In an interview with Wayfarer, a leading Australasian travel and lifestyle executive magazine, Mr Hill said the game changer was in the point to point travel.

No American customs, no waiting for luggage, no overlays – just non-stop travel and a shift in travel style preference – in which travellers opted to see more of Fiji than its resorts – put Fiji as a global hotspot in tourism. In the meantime, Fiji Airways hopes to provide double daily flights for the Los Angeles route.

“We haven’t even touched the potential growth of the US,” Mr Viljoen said.

Vancouver is the 20th direct international service to be operated by Fiji Airways’ world class fleet.



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