Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto has
applauded Air Pacific’s decision to boost its Hong Kong-Nadi route
with a third service from next December describing the national
carrier’s move as a huge boost for Fiji's tourism aspirations in
the key China market.
Mr Tuamoto said the airline’s decision to
implement the new service ten months ago had been more than
vindicated by the substantial increase in Chinese
Fiji had welcomed since Air Pacific commenced flying on the route.
“We have seen an exponential increase in our visitor
arrival figures from China with 2010 Q2 numbers already closing in
on the 8000 mark,” he said. “This has effectively
pushed China into place as our eighth main source of international
Mr Tuamoto said while the numbers came
off a relatively small base, the 7,684 Chinese visitor arrivals
recorded for the period January to June represented a close on 32% increase over the same period last year.
“This is directly attributable to the success our tourism industry
has enjoyed since Air Pacific implemented the direct services,” he
Mr Tuamoto also paid tribute to the efforts
the local tourism industry has gone to in the China market to
raise Fiji’s profile and the potential the destination has to
offer Chinese visitors.
“We’ve put in some very
hard yards to attract and engage this prime source of visitor
arrivals,” he said.
This, he said, included
attending major consumer and trade events and staging travel
agents workshops in Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
last month in Shanghai with Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe
Bainimarama and Minister for Tourism Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in attendance, Tourism Fiji launched the national tourist office’s
first ever Fiji travel planner for the Chinese market.
Mr Tuamoto said a significant competitive advantage the Hong
Kong-Nadi service represents is the variety of airline options it
offers to connect Fiji with others parts of northern Asia.
This is particularly the case with India where the tourism
industry has been active in recent months delivering industry
updates and travel agents workshops in Bangalore, Mumbai and New
The national tourist office has also hosted
several key media and travel industry groups in Fiji as part of a
rolling strategy designed to increase awareness for the
“India like China has a rapidly
expanding, very well heeled middle class – add to that the
potential the VFR (visiting friends and relatives) market
represents,” he said. “We have already seen an
increase in numbers from this market since last December, our six
month total January to June taking Indian visitor arrivals to
1437, an increase of 28.6% over the same period in 2009 ... Admittedly this figure is again off a very small base
but that figure has pushed India into place as our ninth source of
international visitor arrivals.
“Just as the
Japanese market represented huge opportunities several years ago,
today’s burgeoning China and India markets represent huge
potential for many competing destinations around the world,” Mr
Tuamoto said. “So it is extremely pleasing to see
our national airline take an even bigger role in enabling our
industry to gain an even more strategic foothold in these key
markets ... With Hong Kong- adi flights being
operated on a codeshare basis with Cathay Pacific, the service
also represents a good alternative option for our UK and European
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