75,580 tourist arrivals into Fiji in December

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Tourists from the cruise ship Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas enjoy their day out in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/ FILE

A total of 75,580 visitors arrived into Fiji in December alone and made up the bulk of the 636,312 visitors that visited the country last year.

Tourism Fiji indicated in its most recent statement that Fiji’s visitors for December 2022 surpassed pre-COVID levels and December also recorded the highest ever number of Australian travellers in a month with 42,304 coming to Fiji, exceeding September 2022 which was the previous record.

Compared with 2019, travellers from Australia were 121 per cent while New Zealand recorded 106 per cent, US 97 per cent, Canada 135 per cent and the United Kingdom at 71 per cent.

“The lift in numbers from the US is especially significant as this market is a key focus for both Tourism Fiji and Fiji Airways, including with the opening of the new Vancouver direct flights,” Tourism Fiji explained in its statement.

“Travellers coming for ‘holiday’ reasons was 120 per cent of 2019’s numbers, indicating a strong pull towards tourism.

“The total arrivals for 2022 were 71 per cent of 2019, a significant result and growth over the year, considering only 11, 000 tourists were recorded in February 2022.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka said reaching 2022 visitor arrivals targets was outstanding and noteworthy.

He also acknowledged the hard work of tourism industry employees and Fijians at large for their dedication in promoting Fiji and the Fijian culture.

Mr Gavoka, a pioneer in the tourism sector said everyone has a part to play in our success and the best of travel and tourism isn’t behind us – it’s ahead of us.

Tourism Fiji chief executive officer Brent Hill said it was encouraging to see December numbers for tourist arrivals, as well as a record number of Australians in Fiji.

“What a way to end 2022,” Mr Hill said.

“2023 is looking really solid with the opening of China and Japan, and direct flights via Fiji Airways opening in April.

“It’s been a wonderful 12 months for our industry, who should feel really proud of these numbers — playing their part in providing happiness to so many!”

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