5 Jan 2009

Australian visitors help Fiji tourism to achieve record figures

2:28 pm on 5 January 2009

Fiji's tourism agency says growth in arrivals from Australia has been a key factor in a record number of visitors in 2008.

Tourism Fiji's chairman, Patrick Wong, says visitor arrivals to November stood at about 530,000, with a projected figure in December of about 50,000.

He says that is an 8.9 per cent increase over 2007.

Mr Wong says 2008 was a recovery year, and hopefully the industry is on the right tracks.

"We've worked in well with our partners in Australia, also in New Zealand. We've had growth out of New Zealand with the last couple of months as well. At the moment New Zealand stands at 1.5% growth over last year. There's been tremendous growth out of Australia. To date, Australia's growth is about 19.7 percent."

Patrick Wong says 2009 could be a rough year, with economic conditions, an increase in rooms, and lower consumer confidence, but an increase in Government funding for marketing should help.