Fiji's clear waters are a great attraction for tourists.

NADI (SHINE.COM) —Tourism Fiji, Fiji Airways and Trip.com Group, a leading global travel service provider, signed a three-year strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday to cooperate on the promotion of outbound tourism to Fiji.

Starting April, Fiji Airways have been operating two flights a week between Hong Kong and Nadi, and will increase that to three flights a week by June, making it more convenient for Chinese tourists to visit Fiji.

The MOU also covered the development of Fiji’s exposure in the China market and promoted the “Where Happiness Comes Naturally” Fiji travel campaign.

The cooperation aims to support and stimulate tourism recovery in Fiji and encourage Chinese travellers to visit after China reopened its borders in January.

Over the next three years, the three parties would collaborate on travel marketing initiatives, products and data, to fully optimis the travel experience for tourists in Fiji.

China was Fiji’s fourth-largest market prior to the pandemic.

“Before COVID, we had 49,000 Chinese tourists in one year, and I think we can double that,” said Brent Hill, Tourism Fiji CEO.

“Our original target was that by the end of 2024, we would be back to that peak level, but things are going so well,” said Hill. “We started the year with the first couple of months above 2019 already.”

2I’m very optimistic that we can do really well this year,” he added.

Moreover, tourists to Fiji are spending more, with their expenditure going up about 12 percent compared with that of pre-COVID, Hill said.

Fiji has stepped up efforts to attract Chinese travelers.

“Some of our resorts are taking WeChat pay, and the breakfast is not just Western-style breakfast,” Hill said.

“With the reopening of China’s borders, we have seen a marked increase in outbound travel-related bookings and searches in the past three months. We have initiated a series of recovery sales activities and campaigns to stimulate overseas travel demands in the Chinese market,” said Edison Chen, vice president of Destination Marketing & Strategy, International Public Relations for Trip.com Group.

As global tourism recovers, the growth of multiple travel business lines of Trip.com have been showing strong momentum.

Since the first quarter of 2023, despite transportation capacity constraints, outbound travel bookings on its platforms have recovered to more than 40 percent of their pre-pandemic levels and increased by more than 300 percent from the same period last year.

With the recovery of the capacity of international flights, Chinese outbound travel would further pick up in the second quarter, Trip.com said.

Fiji, as one of the first pilot outbound group tour destinations for China, welcomed the first Chinese group tourists to return in April.

Tourism Fiji launched a new brand campaign, “Where Happiness Comes Naturally,” earlier this year to attract more foreign visitors….PACNEWS

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