Vila Times

Vanuatu’s tourism market saw solid growth in 2017: report

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According to the new report by Asian Development Bank, Vanuatu in 2017 saw “solid growth” of its tourism market.

Departures from Australia to Vanuatu rose by 17.4% over the first half of 2017. The resumption of regular Qantas flights to Port Vila in June is expected to further this trend through the second half of the year.

Considerably strong growth has been recorded all over the Pacific. Visitor arrivals in the Cook Islands and Fiji – the two largest South Pacific tourist destinations – have recorded growth in 2017. In Fiji, arrivals increased by 6.5% to over 545,000 in the first 8 months of the year, compared to 2016. Although tourist numbers from the main market of Australia rose only modestly, total arrivals have been buoyed by double-digit growth in tourism from New Zealand and North America.

Tourism in the Cook Islands has performed even better. Total visitor arrivals rose by 10.2%, reaching almost 119,00 over the first 3 quarters of 2017. Arrivals from North America likewise recorded rapid growth, supplementing the sustained robust performance of the Australia and New Zealand markets.

Available data also show encouraging signs for most of the smaller South Pacific destinations. Tourist departures from New Zealand to Samoa increased by 7.8% over the first 3 quarters of 2017, further building on gains from last year. Departures from both Australia and New Zealand to Tonga, however, appear to be retreating from the highs achieved in recent years.