Fiji is on fire. Tourism Fiji has reported that the destination has finished the 2019 calendar year with record visitor arrivals to the destination, with strong growth stemming from the U.S.
The Fijian Bureau of Statistics (FBS) reported a record 96,968 American visitors in 2019, representing a 13 percent increase from the previous year. Together, the U.S. and Canada broke the threshold of 100,000 visitors to Fiji for the very first time, ending the year with a total of 110,237.
“The USA continues to be a focus market for Fiji where we’re seeing consistent, encouraging growth year-on-year,” says Matthew Stoeckel, CEO of Tourism Fiji. “The USA contributes approximately 11 percent of our total visitor arrivals and we are optimistic that it will continue to be a rapidly growing market for us, especially with an expected increase in capacity to the region in 2020.”
The launch of Fiji Airways’ new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft in late 2019 provides an opportunity for Fiji to capitalize on increased capacity to the region from the American market in 2020. The new aircraft, which operates direct, nightly flights from LAX, has increased travel capacity by about 15 percent per flight. The new aircraft has also added an entirely new class of service, Bula Space seats, in addition to adding more economy seats and more business class seats that now have the capability to fully lie flat.
Furthermore, Tourism Fiji launched the second chapter of its campaign, Bulanaires. (“Bula” being the traditional Fijian greeting,). So, what is a Bulanaire, according to Tourism Fiji? A person who is rich in happiness. A recent Gallup International Survey showed that Fiji was the happiest country in the world; however, the survey also showed that happiness was in decline elsewhere. Thus, the Bulanaires Campaign was developed to help share some of Fiji’s abundance of happiness with the rest of the world. Tourism Fiji plans to announce its 2020 list of Bulanaires leading up to the International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2020.