10 Sep 2009

Tourists starting to shun Fiji

4:46 pm on 10 September 2009

The tourism market in Fiji has cooled as holidaymakers opt for destinations they perceive as safer or more ethically acceptable following the last military coup in 2006.

Interim government figures show a drop of 30% in arrivals. Resort occupancy rates are half what thety were during the same time last year.

Samoa and the Cook Islands have reported more tourists since the coup.

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

The New Zealand Government advisory notice says there is some risk, but Fiji is well below countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Fiji has been suspended by the Commonwealth and the Pacific Leaders Forum.

The army took power in Fiji in December 2006. It was the fourth coup there since 1987.