Nadi, 1 December 2022 – Today Fiji marks one year since reopening its borders post-COVID-19. Since the country “Opened for Happiness”, it has welcomed over 520,312 visitors (63% of pre-COVID-19 levels) to its shores. In September and October, it hit 89% and 90% pre-COVID-19 visitor numbers respectively, compared to the same periods in 2019, with Australian, Canadian and New Zealand visitors outpacing pre-COVID-19 numbers for October. September saw a record number of Australian visitors to Fiji.
The rebound is attributed to the COVID-safe measures implemented by the Fijian Government and industry prioritising vaccination and the Care Fiji Commitment programme, a programme run by Tourism Fiji which certified tourism providers as having rigorous measures in place to manage COVID-19.
Commending the industry, the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport – Hon. Faiyaz Koya stated, “A year ago, we marked the beginning of what we knew would be another journey. A shared journey that required determination and resilience. Our strong recovery bears testament to that. We employed every avenue to turn our challenges into opportunities. We acted strategically, and we acted together. So today, we don’t only celebrate our success as a tourism destination and a nation—but we look back and acknowledge every Fijian and every stakeholder whose sacrifice and commitment brought us to where we are. Vinaka vakalevu Team Fiji. A year on and stronger!”.
Alongside buoyant visitor numbers, Fiji has also witnessed visitors now staying for longer (9.7 nights, up 1.4% from pre-COVID-19) and having a higher spend ($271 per night, up 12% from pre-COVID-19).
Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andre Viljoen highlighted at the celebratory press conference today that “the focus for Fiji Airways was to reopen past routes as well as introduce new routes that will connect more visitors to Fiji”. Fiji Airways in partnership with Tourism Fiji also unveiled an activation at Nadi International Airport today – “I love Fiji” which now will be a hot spot for visitors to take photos.
To strengthen the reopening strategy, Tourism Fiji launched its “Open for Happiness” campaign last year. Along with driving visitor growth, the campaign has received a series of accolades including “Best Marketing Campaign (National – Pacific)” at the PATA Gold Awards, and the Mumbrella Travel Award for “Breakthrough Destination of the Year”. Over the year, Fiji as a destination has also received various accolades for having the best islands and being Oceania’s leading adventure tourism destination, including being voted the number 1 island destination in the South Pacific in the Condé Naste Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, and Fiji Airways being recognised by APEX as a 5-star major airline.
Fiji is grateful to every tourist who chose to come to Fiji since December 1, 2021. We are Open to Happiness!