Outgoing Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto said he is confident Fiji is well on the way to surpassing a 660,000 visitor arrivals target set in January this year.
Mr Tuamoto’s comments follow the release this week by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics which show the destination attracting 66,000 international visitors in August – in the process establishing an August record.
Speaking from the national tourist office’s headquarters in Nadi, Mr Tuamoto said, based on the August result and indications of some very healthy forward booking patterns received from the local tourism industry, it was highly likely the end of year visitor arrival tally would be closer to 680,000.
The 66,040 total visitor arrivals result for August represents an increase of 8.4 per cent over the 61,850 figure achieved for the same month in 2010 and in the process takes 2011 eight month totals to 522, 132.
This in itself represents a 7.2 per cent increase over the 486,942 figure set for the same eight month period in 2010.
The destination’s key source markets – Australia, New Zealand and the US – all continued to fire with all three recording increased visitation across the month.
Australia continued to drive the numbers, maintaining its stance as the destination’s prime source for visitor arrivals (47.1 per cent of all visitor arrivals) with a total of 31,083 Australians travelling to Fiji across August – the highest August figure recorded in more than five years.
The 31,083 figure represents an 8.4 per cent increase over the 28,673 recorded in August 2010 and.
New Zealand figures increased by 11.6 per cent, rising from 12,706 to reach 14,185, the highest August NZ visitor arrival figure recorded since 2006.
US figures too continue to rise, the 4,843 figure recorded for the month representing a 3.7 per cent increase over the 4,669 recorded in August 2010.
Increases were also recorded from China [14.2%]; Canada [13.1%]; the United Kingdom [6.7%] and Continental Europe.
Mr Tuamoto said the August result could again be directly attributed to the huge efforts the national tourist office’s overseas offices continue to go to in order to grown their share of the business and keep the destination top of mind in their respective areas of operation.