10 Sep 2009

Fiji safe despite coup says academic

8:14 am on 10 September 2009

Fiji's tourism market has cooled as holidaymakers opt for Pacific destinations they perceive as safe or more ethically acceptable following the military coup in 2006.

Fiji's interim government figures show a 30 per cent drop in arrivals with resort occupancy just half what it was during this time last year.

Jeff Jarvis, from Monash University in Melbourne specialises in tourism marketing, and says Fiji tourism has been damaged by perceptions it is dangerous.

"Issues such as travel warnings particularly from the key markets such as Australia and New Zealand can certainly interfere on one, the perception of people coming to Fiji and also issues in terms of insurance policies whether people will be insured from company conferences, these sorts of things when they come to the destination. The political situation does have an impact that we do need to be aware of."

Dr Jeff Jarvis.

The New Zealand government travel advisory says there is some risk but Fiji is well below countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan.