Fiji’s annual tourist arrivals in 2017 increased further to 630,700, compared with the 600,887 tourists registered in 2016.
The annual provisional visitor arrivals for 2017 released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS) indicated the increase in tourist numbers, an upward trend consecutively set since 2012. The annual visitor arrivals reached a record high of 842,884 in 2017, which was 6.4 per cent more than the previous record of 792,320 which was set in 2016, Fiji Times reports.
Data released noted that tourists or visitors arriving for holiday purposes registered 74.8 per cent of the total visitor arrivals last year followed by those visiting for other purposes which raked in 104,470 visitors.
Looking closely at those visiting for other purposes (104,470 visitors), 81,221 visitors were listed as visiting for other purposes, 14,708 visitors flocked our shores to attend official conferences while 8541 visitors came to Fiji for education or training.
This reflects the number of major regional and international events, workshops, seminars and trainings that were staged in Fiji last year.
The bureau stated that increases in visitors from top source markets contributed to the record level of visitor arrivals in 2017.
These were New Zealand which went up by 20,759 to 184,595 in 2017, the United States of America rose by 11,570 to 81,198), Australia up by 5319 to 365,389 and the Rest of Asia up from 4393 to 24,951.
Visitors from Pacific Islands also went up by 3979 to 53,720 last year, followed by Continental Europe (from 722 to 34,368), South Korea up by 800 to 8871, Canada from 641 to 12,421, Other Countries 379 to 4730, United Kingdom from 213 to 16,925 and Japan up by a mere 76 to 6350.
The 2017 visitor numbers from New Zealand (184,595) and USA (81,198) were the highest ever in a given year, the bureau noted.