Published on : Thursday, June 21, 2018
According to the Fijian tourism association chief Fiji warmly welcomes Chinese tourists to have different experiences in the South Pacific Island nation, which has more than 300 beautiful islands and a population of more than 880,000.
In an exclusive interview on Wednesday on the sideline of the 30th Joint Meeting of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia held in Nadi, Fiji’s third largest city, Dixon Seeto, president of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, said that China has developed very fast over the past decades, the Chinese were getting richer and the number of middle class Chinese was increasing.
“Today, China represents a very promising tourist market for all of us. The outbound from China is increasing. Every country in the world now is trying to woo Chinese visitors as they are heavy consumers.”
“As a beautiful island nation with tourism contributing more than 30 percent to the economy’s GDP, Fiji is, of course, eager to welcome more Chinese tourists,” he said.
According to Seeto, tourism is the most important industry in Fiji and the biggest foreign exchange earner for the country, which has in recent years received more than 800,000 visitors per year, almost equal the entire population of the country.
The government has set a goal of developing the tourism industry to a 2.2 billion Fijian dollar (about 1.1 billion U.S. dollar) industry by 2021.
Currently, Fiji’s tourism industry employs about 119,000 Fijians indirectly and directly.
Year 2017 marked the best year ever for Fiji’s tourism, with 842,884 visitors coming to the nation, a 6.4 percent rise from 2016. And the visitors spent 1.8 billion Fijian dollars (about 86.4 million U.S. dollars) in terms of foreign exchange earnings.
Currently, China is Fiji’s fourth largest tourist market with about 50,000 Chinese tourists visiting Fiji per year.