9 Nov 2009

Tourism Fiji not concerned about effects of expulsions

2:14 pm on 9 November 2009

Tourism Fiji says it does not expect last week's expulsion of Australian and New Zealand diplomats will lead to a drop-off in visitor numbers.

Its chairperson Patrick Wong says the number of tourists from those countries have picked up in the last three months, with Australia exceeding its numbers for the same period last year.

He puts the pickup down to marketing, the strong New Zealand and Australian dollars, and great package deals.

He says he doesn't know of any cancellations as a result of the expulsions so far, and he's not worried by a changed travel advisory by New Zealand.

"Those warnings were just reworded, it has been at that level, exercise caution for the last three years. Really there's no change in the travel advisory except making it a known fact that the High Commissioner was persona non-grata, and the concerns with staffing levels at the high commission."

Patrick Wong says Fiji has always been safe and its biggest tourism asset is its friendly people.