IFC Study Reveals Investment Opportunities in Cruise Tourism in Fiji
05 Nov, 2019
A study led by IFC says more investment to attract cruise tourism to Fiji could lead to an added US$43.98 million to the Fijian economy over the next 10 years.
The study, Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Fiji, says cruise tourism contributed US$21.4 million to the Fijian economy last year, with the flow on effects of tourism worth an extra US$22.7 million.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MITT), the Australian Government with the support of Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean International, the study shows the private sector was the biggest winner making 70 percent of the revenue earned from cruise tourism, with the Fijian Government receiving 28 percent.
The report was launched today, following the handover of the hydrographic survey data of Yasawa-i-Rara by the Market Development Facility (MDF), another Australian Government funded project. This was an outcome of a public-private-partnership with the Fiji Navy and Kenua Fiji.
“As one of Fiji’s development partners, it is the Australian Government’s interest to assist Fiji in areas that would promote economic growth,” Australian High Commission to Fiji, John Feakes said. “IFC’s report is important as it demonstrates the importance of cruise tourism to the Fijian economy. Coincidently, the completion of the Yasawa-i-Rara project by MDF provides an opportunity for cruise ships to visit these islands.”
The IFC led study into Fiji’s cruise tourism found that every cruise ship voyage yielded an average US$147,000 in spending at every port of call, with cruise ship passengers spending an average US$44.
“In Fiji, tourism activities are largely centered in Viti Levu and the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Cruise tourism provides an economic opportunity for those in our more remote islands that have a lot to offer as well,” Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Hon. Premila Kumar said. “Fiji is diverse in culture and tradition and most of these have not been seen by the outside world.”
The study identifies seven investment opportunities that could generate more revenue for Fiji. It found nearly half cruise ship passengers wanted to spend more in the country but had unmet spending opportunities.
“The study highlights there’s a clear opportunity for Fijians to gain more income from cruise tourism,” Thomas Jacobs, IFC Country Manager for the Pacific, said. “With the study showing passengers are particularly interested in handicrafts, there’s an immediate opportunity for rural women to earn money as they’re the largest producers of Fiji’s traditional handicraft.”