Fiji has seen a 30 per cent increase in Indian arrivals in 2017, and is now planning to move to target agents in Tier-II markets as well. The destination has big plans for 2018.
Fiji Tourism has witnessed remarkable growth in the Indian market in the last one year, says Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Industry & Trade and Tourism, Fiji. “We consider India as one of our major growth markets and have now got flight connections via Singapore to Fiji,” he said.
The arrival figures into Fiji echo this thought as well. Matthew Stoeckel, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Fiji, revealed, “In 2017, Indian arrivals to Fiji went up by 30 per cent, and we expect this growth to further accelerate in 2018. Fiji is a hot destination currently, not only in India but across the world. We have a diverse product that appeals to couples, honeymooners, families and the MiCE market. The relevance of this product in India is starting to get noticed with our increased resources and efforts in the market being paid off with a great interest in the destination, and that is turning into bookings.”
Claiming that connectivity posed as a big problem for Indians earlier, Koya said, “Previously, Indians found it difficult to get to Fiji because they had to come via Hong Kong, but the preference was through Singapore. Now, we have the connection with Jet Airways to Singapore as well. Our focus now will be on the same markets, but to get larger numbers owing to increased conectivity.”
Stoeckel added that with thrice a week service between Singapore and Fiji with Fiji Airways, Indians can club their visit to Fiji not only with Singapore but also with New Zealand. “A lot of our arrivals come out of Tier-I cities, with Delhi and Mumbai topping the charts. For Tier-II and III cities, we will be increasing our resources to be able to penetrate further into some of these regional cities,” he informed.
Honeymooners remain the major segment for Fiji Tourism. However, Koya said, “With honeymooners, we are looking at MiCE market, weddings, adventure tourism. Fiji is also a great destination for a lot of young Indians who are into adventure tourism, be they shark diving or diving deep to see the great reefs and wonders of the sea.”
A major accelerator of Fiji’s growth story in India is engagement with the trade. “Our participation in trade shows keep us engaged with the trade in India. Tourism Fiji representatives based in Mumbai as well as a lot of Fams into Fiji showcase the offerings to Indian trade. We have our own Fiji Tourism expo and conduct roadshows, where we bring about a range of products and meet travel agents here in India directly. An exciting campaign is in the offing, which we will be announcing shortly whilst continuing to invest in trade activities,” revealed Stoeckel.