Fiji tourism industry suffer losses in 2007
Fiji's tourism industry suffered an estimated loss of 150 million - 200 million Fiji dollars (about96 million to 128 million U.S. dollars) in 2007, said a chief of Fiji Islands Hoteliers Association.
"It has been a very difficult year, with the loss of numbers and employees working short hours. The industry had to reduce rates to make business," the Fiji Times daily on Wednesday quoted Fiji Islands Hotliers Association President Dixon See to as saying.
The loss in tourism earnings was the result of fewer visitors, shorter lengths of stay and discounted rates.
Fiji Visitors Bureau Chairman Patrick Wong said while he expected visitor numbers to exceed the forecast, fewer people stayed in hotels and at heavily discounted rates.
"Certainly the forecast for last year was 514,000 people but I expect 525,000 arrivals," Wong said.
"In 2008 we are looking at a 5 percent growth, targeting 545,000 people unlike what government has forecast at 10 percent," Wong said.
He added that the 2 million Fiji dollars (1.2 million U.S. dollars) funding by the government came a little too late although "it was a spark in tourism arrivals." ( Xinhua )