In what again represents a solid boost for Fiji’s tourism industry, international visitor arrivals for September 2009 again continued to build according to figures released by Tourism Fiji.

The 54,981 total achieved for the month eclipsed the 52,597 figure recorded in September 2008 by 2384, an increase of 4.5 percent.

Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto attributed much of the growth to three key factors – a third consecutive record-breaking month from the Australian market, an 11.1 increase in New Zealand visitors, and a strong surge from the EU where figures improved by 20.3 percent growth.

However, he said, growth from other newer markets, too, had been encouraging, particularly visitor arrivals from China, which grew from 888 to 1,376, an increase of more than 35 percent.

Mr. Tuamoto said this figure echoed the efforts and inroads Tourism Fiji and its industry colleagues have made in the China market as part of an intensive marketing strategy, pre-empting the commencement of Air Pacific services Hong Kong.

However, he said, marketing strategies in other markets were obviously paying off judging by the results from Australia, New Zealand, and the EU.

Hot on the heels of record breaking July and August performances, Australian visitor arrivals again set a new benchmark with a 26,342 total eclipsing the 23,458 figure achieved in September 2008 by 2884. This represents an increase of 10.9 percent.

From New Zealand, a total of 12,167 Kiwis visited in September. This represents a 7.8 percent increase over the 11,209 figure achieved for the same period in 2008

EU figures for the month reached 5,648, an increase of 20 percent over the 4,496 recorded in September 2008.

Mr. Tuamoto said these excellent results had all combined to help Fiji grow its overall international visitor arrivals to reach 390,565, 11.2 percent short of the 440,061 achieved for the January-September period in 2008.

“We are seeing plenty of green shoots,” Mr. Tuamoto said.

“The direct Pacific Blue services Adelaide and Melbourne have obviously had an impact on the Australian market, and the advent of both the new Air Pacific, V-Australia and Jetstar services month bode extremely well for Fiji into 2010.”