This is an informative publication, sponsored by The Fiji Sun, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and HFC Bank. All views expressed or implied are purely of the Financial Markets Analyst at the HFC Bank, Shoran Devi.
Over the last two decades, tourism sector has played an integral role in driving economic growth in the Pacific Island Countries, most notably in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Cook Islands.
Fiji in particular is gaining recognition as an “international brand” for many overseas travellers seeking an escape from their everyday busy schedules to enjoy the pristine tropical lifestyle.
Tourism in Fiji is one of the fastest growing industries and the leading economic impacts from this sector are providing foreign exchange, employment and contributing to the gross domestic product.
Visitor statistics are released monthly using data sourced from the Immigration System. Provisional numbers show that visitor arrivals for April 2017 reached a record 68,495, an increase of 17.8% compared to a year earlier.
The only decrease was recorded for visitors from the United Kingdom [down 22 or 1.5% to 1,449].
Visitors arriving for holiday purposes accounted for 76.2% of total arrivals, 9.0% came to visit their friends or relatives, 3.9% came for business purposes, while 10.9% visited Fiji for other reasons.
In the moving average twelve monthly numbers ending April 2017, the total number of visitors to Fiji increased by 5.1% compared with the same period in 2016.
Visitors from Rest of Asia increased by [35.6%]
South Korea [22.1%]
New Zealand [15.9%]
The United States of America [10.0%]
Continental Europe [6.5%]
Pacific Islands [3.5%]
United Kingdom [0.8%]
Decreases were recorded for visitors from Other Countries [14.4%] and Australia [1.8%].January to April visitor arrivals 2017, showed a 7.4% increase over the corresponding period in 2016, up from 215,228 to 231,721.
The majority of visitors to Fiji in April 2017 were in the age range of 25-64 (64.9%), which accounts for the vast majority of the working age population.
Children aged 14 and below accounted for 16.8% of the April visitor arrivals; 10.7% were youths aged 15-24 with the remaining 7.6% comprising those in the predominantly retirement age group of 65 and over.
Provisional data shows that majority of the visitors entering our shores are retirees, students and professional workers.
Occupational Groups for visitors engaged in gainful employment in their home countries are as follows;
Professional Workers – 12,716
Legislators – 9,420
Technician and Related Workers – 6,315
Craft Workers – 3,721
Visitors who are not in the labour force were categorised into two major groups. The categories and numbers are as follows;
Students – 13,507
Retirees, Housewives, Children & Others – 12,104
Our country is impressively commended for the immaculate service delivery and our everlasting “BULA Smiles” and these Tourism statistics assist policy makers and investors to optimize further on the tourism potential of an area.
(Source: FijiSunOnline SUNVIZ 10 June 2017)