Tourists boost Fiji’s local economy with more experiential spending

May 2, 2024 | Blog, News

Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka has highlighted a notable shift in the spending patterns of tourists visiting Fiji, signalling a growing interest in immersive experiences beyond traditional lodging and airfare expenditures.


Fiji Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka

Gavoka revealed that while lodging and accommodations, along with airfare, traditionally dominated tourist spending, there has been a significant increase in expenditure on tours and attractions. According to him, this shift reflects the evolving preferences of travelers seeking more diverse and engaging activities during their visits.

In 2023, out of the estimated $3.22 billion contributed to Fiji’s economy by the 929,740 visitors, lodging and airfare accounted for 60 per cent of spending. However, the remaining 40 per cent was allocated to tours, attractions, and other experiences within the country, indicating a growing appetite for immersive and culturally enriching activities.

The Minister said the potential of this trend to benefit local communities, particularly with the rising number of visitors and their increased spending on experiential tourism activities.

“Tourists are increasingly eager to explore and engage with local communities, presenting opportunities for grassroots businesses to offer unique tours and attractions,” Minister Gavoka was quoted in the media as saying. He further highlighted the anticipated growth in the US market, driven by changes in aviation policies, and emphasised the active nature of American tourists, who are expected to further explore Fiji’s offerings.

To capitalise on this trend and ensure equitable distribution of tourism benefits across Fiji, Minister Gavoka mentioned ongoing efforts to empower grassroots communities through capacity-building initiatives focused on adventure and eco-tourism.

Acknowledging the need for diversification and inclusive growth, the Minister stressed the importance of expanding tourism activities beyond traditional hubs to other regions of Fiji. He expressed optimism about Fiji’s tourism recovery, noting that within the first three months of the year, visitor numbers have not only rebounded to pre-pandemic levels but have surpassed them by approximately 12 per cent. The year-end projections aim to welcome a million visitors, underscoring Fiji’s resilience and attractiveness as a tourism destination.