3 Jan 2003

Number of tourists to Marshall Islands down last year

4:55 pm on 3 January 2003

The number of holiday visitors to the Marshall Islands in 2002 is expected to be down about eight percent and the overall visitor count down four percent compared to 2001.

The Marshall Islands Visitor Authority says that the downturn was because of September 11 and the decline in the United States and Japan economies.

In 2000, the Marshalls recorded over 1300 holiday visitors and even with the events of September 11 2001 there was a rise to over 1400 largely due to the strength of the first eight months of the year.

Although final statistics are not yet in for 2002, the Marshall Islands has seen over 11-hundred visitors through September which is lower than the Authorities anticipated number of 1300 tourists for the year.

The Authority's General Manager, Mark Stege says the largest group of holiday visitors are scuba divers with an increasing number from Japan.