16 Oct 2007

Fiji Visitors Bureau says its losing tourists to neighbouring island countries

11:15 am on 16 October 2007

The Fiji Visitors Bureau says the country is losing tourists to neighbouring island countries because of vigorous competition.

The Bureau's executive chairman, Patrick Wong, has told the Fiji Times there has been a moderate drop in numbers but Fiji is holding its own and slowly winning back traditional clients and targetting new segments.

He says Fiji has lost 7 percent of its Australian tourists but quite a lot more from New Zealand.

Mr Wong says these visitors have also shortened their stay which has impacted on hotel occupancy levels.

This has been made worse by an increase in the number of hotel rooms from 8,750 in 2006 to 9,400 now.

Both Australia and New Zealand have said their travel advisories on Fiji would only be reviewed when there is progress towards elections.