20 May 2002

Fiji tourism high put down to industry and government efforts and global issues

7:29 am on 20 May 2002

The Fiji Visitors' Bureau is attributing record tourist numbers to co-operative efforts to resurrect Fiji as a travel destination after the 2000 coup caused a significant drop in visitors.

It is two years since the start of the coup, when George Speight and his supporters stormed the parliament and took the Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudry and other MPs hostage.

The bureau's chief executive, Sitiveni Yaqona says government funding of the industry's Destination Fiji campaign is the main reason Fiji is enjoying record visitor numbers for the first quarter of this year.

But Mr Yaqonasays global issues have also played a part, with many people, particularly from the United Kingdom and the United States, seeking refuge in the Pacific from troubles elsewhere in the world.