1 Jun 2004

Record numbers of New Zealanders visit Fiji

10:30 am on 1 June 2004

A record number of New Zealanders have been visiting Fiji this year, even during April when the country's main island was gripped by floods.

The Fiji Visitor Bureau says visitor arrivals are up more than 45 per cent compared over last year.

New Zealand accounts for roughly 18 per cent of Fiji's tourism market.

The bureau's director in New Zealand, Paresh Pant, says strong forward bookings for winter indicate all records will be broken.

"We're looking at a record year from New Zealand, and a record year from all markets as well. We're estimating around 455,000 visitors that'll visit Fiji from all markets, and we expect that Kiwis will account for over 80,000 visitors at the end of this year."

The Flight Centre says the trend is being driven by cheaper airfares, which have dropped about 30 per cent.