Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Good sign for tourism - Fiji Times Online

Good sign for tourism - Fiji Times Online

Friday, August 08, 2008

ONE of Australia's largest travel agency says Fiji should brace itself for a surge in visitor arrivals.

Travelscene chief executive Mike Thomson said despite the political events of 2006, Fiji was still a popular destination among Australians.

Mr Thomson said with Fiji products competitively priced, the industry was well positioned to compete against markets such as Bali.

Following the Travelscene American Express Frontliners Conference at the Shangri-La's Fijian Resort last weekend, Mr Thomson believes arrival figures could double in the coming months.

With more than 550 travel agents attending the conference, he said they were able to get an insight into the situation and get first-hand experience of the products available in the country.

Mr Thomson said Fiji was a major holiday destination for Australian travel agents and the huge attendance of travel agents at the conference was an indication of the promotion the country would receive when the agents returned to work.

"We hope to bring the numbers up and we are confident that after this conference there will be a huge lift in arrivals.

"Australians are quite forgiving and despite the events of 2006, there are no issues about Australians travelling to Fiji," said Mr Thomson.

While addressing the conference, Fiji Visitors Bureau chairman Patrick Wong said they hoped to raise tourist arrival figures to 245,000 this year, 282,000 in 2009 and 324,000 in 2010.

This year's figure represented a 23 per cent growth in arrivals while those of 2009 and 2010 marked a 15 per cent growth.

"The targets are unrealistic. Careful consideration has been given to total airline inventory from Australia to Fiji, available room inventory in the major tourism and emerging tourism zones as well as the economic climate and consumer sentiments in Australia," he said.

Pleading for the support of travel agents, Mr Wong said the path forward for Fiji tourism depended on the role they played in promoting Fiji's friendly hospitality and diverse holiday options.

Good sign for tourism - Fiji Times Online

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