All smiles: Outrigger Fiji

Hot on the heels of its record breaking 2010 performance which saw more than 318,000 Australians visit Fiji across the year, the destination has kicked off 2011 in strong form with Australian visitor arrivals for January closing in on the 26,000 mark.

Figures released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics this week show a total of 25,718 Australians visited in January establishing a new record for January arrivals.

The figure represents an 11.37% increase over the 23,092 recorded for the same period in 2010.

Australia again continued to be the primary source of arrivals to Fiji for the period, the 25,718 figure constituting 53.08% of all international visitors recorded across January.

Tourism Fiji Regional Director Australia, Paresh Pant said he was confident that the positive start to 2011 was indicative of what he anticipated would prove yet another very strong performance for the destination.

“Given forward booking feedback received from our airline and wholesaler partners for the first half of the year, we are at this stage looking at what we are confident will prove another record year for Fiji from this market,” Pant said.

The positive start to the year was reflected across most of the destination’s key source markets with combined figures reaching 48,455, an 8.27% increase over the 44,755 achieved in January 2010.

New Zealand visitor numbers remained steady, the 4627 recorded for the month representing a 2.69% increase over January 2010 figures.

Arrivals from the UK/Europe stayed positive, the 4889 arrivals recorded for January representing a 6.54% increase over the 4589 achieved in 2009.

United States of America arrivals also increased in January – from 3939 to 4179 51, a 5.29% year on year increase.

Chinese visitor arrivals continued to grow, increasing to 1207 for the month, a 29.78% growth over the 930 figure achieved for the same period in 2010.

Arrivals from India stayed steady, the 152 figure recorded for January representing a 0.65 month on month decrease.