FHTA and Australia’s MDF launch Fiji’s First Domestic Tourism Demand Study

FHTA and Australia’s MDF launch Fiji’s First Domestic Tourism Demand Study

The recent lifting of containment area borders in Viti Levu will also see the reopening of domestic tourism which is expected to provide the tourism sector with a much-needed boost. In addition to new operational guidelines under the Care Fiji Commitment (CFC), tourism operators will also need to develop new, targeted strategies and packages to attract local tourists.

To support this drive towards domestic tourism, Australia’s Market Development Facility (MDF) and the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) have launched Fiji’s first Domestic Tourism Study. The study is designed to help tourism stakeholders better understand different tourism segments, characteristics and opportunities in order to more effectively target and cater to the local tourism market.

The study was informed by over 10,000 online survey responses and follow-up interviews and was undertaken by FHTA and the Australian Government-funded MDF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (MCTTT) and Tourism Fiji (TF).

Hon. Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, highlighted that the Domestic Tourism Study would build on the success of the MCTTT’s Love Our Locals (LOL) campaign and noted that he looked forward to innovative packages targeted towards local tourism based on the survey’s key findings. Hon. Koya further urged tourism operators to continue developing packages for locals, while the country embarked on its journey to welcome back international visitors.

“Locals have been the greatest supporters of our tourism industry and economy. And we want this to remain. With the finding of this report, we want to ensure domestic tourism remains the foundation of the Fijian tourism industry and our every other national agenda. In fact, domestic tourism will now take on a greater significance as part of our Tourism Fiji marketing strategy. This will add resilience to the Fijian tourism industry,” said Hon. Koya.

Mr. Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji, said that the market research in the study provides valuable insights into Fiji’s domestic travel market that would shape and inform the strategies of tourism stakeholders.

“To date, this Domestic Tourism Demand Study is one of the most comprehensive local market studies and has given us extensive insights to help us encourage our local Fijians to explore this amazing country! Furthermore, research is underway in key markets of Australia, New Zealand and North America. This will greatly complement existing insights and help to inform Fiji’s re-entry efforts. Alongside Fiji’s high vaccination rates, having this in-depth knowledge of potential future travellers to Fiji helps to give us confidence as we plan for re-entry.”

Ms Fantasha Lockington, Chief Executive Officer of FHTA, welcomed the study, as it would provide useful insights to help refocus the efforts of FHTA members towards revitalising the tourism sector. Ms Lockington highlighted that “Traditionally, local tourism operators rely on basic price discounting strategies but lacked the market research to effectively identify and target domestic tourism segments, so this study is very timely.”

MDF Fiji Country Director Mr Malcolm Bossley acknowledged and thanked FHTA, MCTTT and TF for helping produce the report. “We are all members of the Tourism Statistics Taskforce at MCTTT and are focused on providing timely research and market intelligence to support tourism recovery efforts in Fiji,” Bossley mentioned.

The Domestic Tourism Study can now be downloaded from the FHTA website. Plans are in place to have follow-up consultations with tourism stakeholders on the key findings and recommendations of the report.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD Domestic Tourism in Fiji Insights from local travellers for post-COVID & beyond (September 2021)