73 per cent of Fiji’s tourism earnings recovered

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communication Manoa Kamikamica (left) with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka officiated at the Inaugural Fiji Tourism Investment Summit 2023 at the Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji has recovered 73 per cent of its tourism earnings ever since it opened its border in 2021.

Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka revealed this at the inaugural Fiji Tourism Investment Summit on Denarau Island where he also commended the soaring occupancy rates which continued to track above 2019 levels which was a record year.

“Last year, we recovered 71 per cent of pre-pandemic visitor arrivals and by value, we recovered 73 per cent of our tourism earnings,” Mr Gavoka said.

“Our International Visitor Survey (IVS) also reveals tourism earnings of an estimated $1.66 billion from April to December 2022, which is when we re-activated the IVS.

“And if you take the airfare component, we are looking at approximately $2b.”

While we are seeing exceptional numbers from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, Mr Gavoka also hinted that Fijians can also soon expect the gradual return of the Asian market.

He said the return of the direct Hong Kong – Nadi flight would boost this market tremendously.

“So going forward, we have a fair idea of what the demand is in the medium term. Therefore, we are hopeful opportunities like today can help us on the supply side.

“Balancing the supply and demand sides of a service industry is not easy and whether a destination does it well or not will make all the difference.”

Mr Gavoka said the total spend in Fiji Per Person Per Trip is now $3550, an increase of 5 per cent from 2019.

“If we look at visitation by visitor days within Fiji, the Nadi to Coral Coast corridor accounted for just over 60 per cent (61.4 per cent) with the north 3.8 per cent.

“I’m hoping that Vanua Levu and the surrounds, which I can assure you promises high yield, is a region we can look at specifically.

“We are also seeing increased capacity into Fiji through our national carrier, Fiji Airways and it is recording bookings exceeding 2019.

“Forward bookings looking at the next 12 months too are higher than what they were pre-COVID. And we will continue to grow.”

The summit ends today.

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