Fiji sets a new arrivals benchmark in 2023

Record numbers as Australian arrivals surpass 2019 pre-COVID figures

Fiji achieved an extraordinary milestone in 2023 by welcoming the highest number of Australians in its history, surpassing 2019 pre-COVID levels with a massive 16.9% increase in Australian visitors. In 2019, the figure was 367,020, versus the provisional 2023 figure of 434,533.

Australia continues to be Fiji’s dominant source market, contributing 46.7% of all visitor arrivals. The New Zealand market represented 23.8%, then the USA at 10.7% and nudging 100,000 arrivals – and trumping its 2019 result. Other top five source markets were China and Continental Europe (both 2.8%).

In 2023, Fiji welcomed 929,740 arrivals across all markets, reflecting 104% of 2019 numbers, with an estimated tourism earning of $3.3 billion. The arrival number was up a whopping 46% on the 2022 result.

Snorkelling in Fiji

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Travel for holiday purposes, not surprisingly, was by far the top reason to visit, accounting for 79% of arrivals, followed by VFR traffic (7.6%), then business (2.4%), according to Fiji Bureau of Statistics data.

July 2023 was the busiest month of the year, with close to 93,500 arrivals – up 10% year-on-year, with June and September the next most popular months to travel, with both around the 90,460 figure.

Tourism Fiji said the burgeoning popularity of Fiji among Australian and emerging markets has not only propelled tourism but has also attracted significant new developments and events, solidifying Fiji’s status as a premier global travel destination.

Visitor arrivals graph for Fiji, courtesy of Fiji Bureau of Statistics
Waya Island Resort, Yasawas, Fiji

Robert Thompson, Executive Director of Regions at Tourism Fiji remarked, “Towards the end of 2023, we proudly announced several notable investments, including a new luxury resort and lifestyle precinct, Vatu Talei – The Jewel, and Radisson Hotel Group’s second Fiji property Radisson Blu Mirage Resort, Fiji Naisoso Island.”

“Additionally, the opening of Waya Island Resort in the Yasawas and the introduction of MS Caledonian Sky to Fiji waters by Captain Cook Cruises have added further diversity to our tourism landscape. The imminent launch of Crowne Plaza Nadi Bay in March is a testament to the thriving tourism industry in Fiji.”

In a bid to sustain and amplify the investment momentum, and to underline Fiji’s commitment to fostering sustainable growth in the tourism sector, Tourism Fiji announced the 2nd Tourism Investment Summit in partnership with AHICE. The summit is scheduled for July following the success of last year’s inaugural event.

Fiji Airways is actively contributing to the tourism boom with the expansion of its fleet, marked by the arrival of new A350s. Furthermore, the airline is set to open/reopen routes to Canberra, Japan, Hong Kong, and New Caledonia, enhancing its accessibility and connectivity to new markets and nearby islands.

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