Fiji Tourism sees great growth from emerging markets like India and China. Speaking exclusively to FE Online on the sidelines of the Fiji Tourism Expo 2017 (FTE) being held here at the Denarau Island Convention Centre, Sheraton Fiji in Nadi, Fiji Tourism Minister, Faiyaz Koya said, “We see India as a country with a lot of potential for Fiji Tourism and we have been concentrating on growing the India market. But we wanted the right connectivity. Now with Jet Airways which connects more than 20 Indian cities, we have the right partner to push numbers to our country.”
Mathew Stoekler, CEO, Fiji Tourism, informed that 2016 was a great year for Fiji Tourism. “We saw a five per cent growth in visitor arrivals. And this was despite challenges like Cyclone Winston. So we are looking at 2017 with a positive outlook. We have lots of new products in the luxury segment like Sheraton Tokoriki Beach Resort, Marriott Momi Bay, among others. Fiji is not just about family holidays but also high end luxury products.”
He added, “The recent modernisation project at Nadi Airport is in line with our tourism focus. Also we expect to drive tourism from emerging markets like India on the back of our new Fiji Airways service from Singapore.”
Stoekler also revealed that next week as part of Fiji Tourism’s digital marketing strategy, a famed Bollywood celebrity will be flown in courtesy Fiji Airways to be taken around the islands and the video will be run on social media like YouTube to promote the destination in India. “We are investing big resources in the emerging markets. This digital campaign will be give big lift to our brand awareness,” he added.
Koya stated that the ministry is interested in promoting cruise tourism especially in Suva. He said, “But our first priority will be to focus on developing port infrastructure. We are also looking at investment. We want more and more people to invest in Suva.”
Fiji is also getting to be known as a sports tourism destination. The country’s first Olympic gold medal was brought home by the Fiji Rugby team who made a brief appearance at the FTE yesterday. But the tourism minister was quick to point out that all development will be done in a sustainable manner. “Growth in all our destinations will have to be economically viable and must be sustainable,” he emphasised.