27 Feb 2013

Fiji tourist numbers improve despite natural disasters

5:00 am on 27 February 2013

Despite natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones, Fiji appears to have improved on its tourist numbers.

Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama told members of the tourism industry there were 606,000 visitors in 2012, not including the December numbers, which was already an increase of 28,000 from 2011.

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates an 11.6 per cent growth in the contribution of tourism to Fiji's GDP, which places Fiji sixth highest in the world in that category.

The council reported a decrease in domestic spending on tourism and travel, but an increase in international visitors' spending in Fiji.

Resorts are still recovering from Cyclone Evan with some only due to reopen at the end of the year.

Frank Bainimarama said in the adverse circumstances, the tourist numbers were a remarkable vote of confidence in Fiji.