5 Jul 2011

Kiribati registers tourism numbers increase

1:27 pm on 5 July 2011

The Kiribati National Tourism Office says the welcome surge in tourist numbers during the first quarter of this year is projected to continue into the next quarter.

It reports the atoll nation received a total of 1,432 inbound visitors to both Tarawa and Christmas Island during that period.

26 percent of the visitors were from the US, 21 percent from Pacific island countries, 14 percent from Australia and eight percent from New Zealand.

A statistics officer, Tiuti Biribo, says the 36 percent increase of inbound visitors over last year is significant and is set to continue.

"Most of the accommodation in Christmas Island are already booked out, so this is the strong evidence for the increase for the next quarter. A number of these bookings is especially for the anglers."

Tiuti Biribo attributes the increase to having good tourism websites and exposure at tourist events, like fishing expos.

He says the Kiribati's climate change challenges could also be a contributing factor for the increased visitor numbers.