Open­ing new tourism mar­kets with best travel op­tions avail­able

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

The on­go­ing protests in Hong Kong is a good ex­am­ple of what Gov­ern­ment has been al­lud­ing to in the past on the need to di­ver­sify the tourism mar­ket.

It has al­ways been re­it­er­ated that Fiji can no longer rely on Aus­tralia and New Zealand, our two big­gest mar­kets, to hold our tourism sec­tor up as Fiji’s main con­trib­u­tor to the Growth Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP). At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Econ­omy Aiyaz Saiyad-Khaiyum has al­ways pressed on the need to look beyond these two coun­tries.

The open­ing of the Chi­nese mar­ket, with the op­por­tu­nity to be one of the big­gest con­trib­u­tors to tourism, was an im­por­tant step for di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion. Rosie Hol­i­days and Tour man­agers have led the way in se­cur­ing some of the mar­ket from China.

Rosie Hol­i­days brings in di­rect flights from China once a year while the re­main­ing Chi­nese have been com­ing through Hong Kong as Fiji Air­ways pro­vides a di­rect flight from there.

The protests in Hong Kong has caused dis­rup­tions and this has caused two can­cel­la­tions of con­fer­ences of Chi­nese busi­ness peo­ple that were sched­uled to be held here.

For the Chi­nese trav­eller com­ing here through other routes is more ex­pen­sive with a lot more pa­per work and adds to the lengthy travel time. They would rather travel to other des­ti­na­tions.

That is why the need to con­tinue to open up new tourism mar­kets must con­tinue with the best travel op­tions avail­able.

Sim­ply put, those go­ing on hol­i­days do not want to spend be­tween 10 to 20 hours trav­el­ling to their des­ti­na­tion.

South Pa­cific Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Christo­pher Cocker said sus­tain­abil­ity was im­por­tant to the Pa­cific.

In this case the rea­son why they were di­ver­si­fy­ing the mar­kets was be­cause Fiji or any other re­gional is­land na­tion could not de­pend on Aus­tralia and New Zealand. Be­cause, if any eco­nomic cri­sis hap­pens in these coun­tries, it would af­fect all.

He said the fastest emerg­ing mar­kets were In­dia and South Amer­ica.

The Pa­cific gets about 5.3 per cent of the Chi­nese mar­ket share and that’s about 5.3 per cent or 2.1 mil­lion air vis­i­tors, which was only around 100,000 plus in the re­gion.

But to com­pete with other tourist des­ti­na­tions around the world, we have to en­sure bet­ter at­trac­tions and prices.

No more do tourist come and lay in the sun for half a day, knock back a few drinks and go back to their room.

The cu­rios­ity for tra­di­tion and the at­tach­ment to na­ture has in­creased among the wants of tourists and for that we need to sus­tain our en­vi­ron­ment and es­pe­cially our tra­di­tions.

We can do it be­cause the smiles of the Fi­jian peo­ple and un­wa­ver­ing hos­pi­tal­ity to­wards our guests is renowned through­out the world.

Add tra­di­tion and na­ture to that and we will surely be more sought af­ter than ever be­fore.

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