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HomeNewsInternationalTourism Fiji Records 300% Increase in Indian Arrivals from December 2022 to...

Tourism Fiji Records 300% Increase in Indian Arrivals from December 2022 to 2023

Tourism Fiji defines strategic change to preach its position as a preferred destination louder. Robert Thompson, Executive Director of Regions at Tourism Fiji speaks to T3 about overall response, focus areas, market share, and more.

Overall response & India’s share in the same

We are just a shy of a million visitors in 2023, it is the highest ever recorded number for Fiji. Immediately when we opened in December 2021, we saw that Australia exploded into Fiji. 2023 saw a huge growth, initially Australia took a very large proportion of arrivals, but with 2023 other destinations also started to get in, including India coming back in force. Proportionately, India is in market number 8 right now. We are expecting 2024 to be better, we see an overall 4% increase YoY.

India has been an emerging market for us quite some time. We need to have a bit more focus to make sure we give to India what it wants. I have worked closely with the India market since 15 years and I know its potential. India is a very important strategic source market where we need to make sure we spread our eyeballs efficiently. Though India currently is on a small percentage, but December 2023 was our highest ever, having a 300% increase on the December 2019 figure.

Market positioning & targeting – Fiji as destination

We are a long-haul aspirational honeymoon spot for India and the only long-haul beach destination that is visa-free. We are now starting to see and focus, through conversations with our trade partners, more on multi-generational family travel, semi-organized group travel, younger travellers, adventure seekers. We are also having a lot of interest from MICE group, and we are talking to a very large group currently, but the problems persists in terms of capacity. Even for a group above 800 pax, it is very difficult for our bus facilities and hotel operators to manage. So, we are trying to get the group fly in phases, approx. 200 people max at a time so that we can manage conveniently.

The only constraint we had last year is our capacity on ground. Our CEO has been very active trying to drive investment, our Ministers were recently in India and met quite a few hotel development companies because we need more rooms. There are 62 projects confirmed for the next 10-15 years. Right now, we have 4 hotels in construction, we also have couple of high-end luxury brands that are popular in India. Besides Fiji also tends to offer boutique luxury with award-wining properties but those brands Indians are not much aware of.

The strategic move that we are looking at is growing the brand. For the last 15 years our brand preached ‘Where happiness finds you’ which relates to the fact that Fiji has been listed as the happiest place on the planet. While the tagline worked really well for us, but we wanted to talk more on the happiness of the travellers which is on them to feel it. It is now changed to ‘Where happiness comes naturally’. Many destinations might have the same beaches, palm trees, etc but to differentiate we are looking at the ‘People’. India is an interesting market to do so, as both destinations are driven to learn more on history, culture and get new experiences. Another interesting fact is that 45% of our total population is Indian by ethnicity.

Through our representation company, we have wonderful ties with the travel trade arena in India. For me, tourism is 95% relationship, and Global Destinations has got us such strong reputation with everybody and customer relations. Besides, we have 4 wonderful campaigns of small-scale with our partners. We are making sure to resource India with sufficient budgets to grow on last year figures. The forwards are looking fantastic with individual partners, I hope we are able to resource them to drive conversions.


Sustainability is very important for us since we are a beach destination, and Fiji is one of the first destinations to bring on a sustainability officer. We want take slow steps and understand more on how to preserve not just the environment, but culture as well. We are in a great position without over-tourism happening, and we want to maintain this state of preserving culture. We are very specific about the threats of sea-level rise, garbage patches, etc. We also have coral gardeners who are helping us develop a type of coral that can survive the heat and rising temperatures of water.






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