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Chinese tourists expected to boost Fijis economy
SUVA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Fiji government and tourism stakeholders said on Tuesday they expect tourism numbers to boom with increased airlines servicing Fiji and a direct flight from China to the Fiji resort city of Nadi.

It has already been confirmed that Australian airlines Jetstar, a low-cost Qantas subsidiary, and V Australia will start servicing Fiji within months with competition expected to heat up.

The direct flight from Hong Kong to Nadi starts on Dec. 3.

Fiji will get direct connectivity to the Europe market with direct Air Pacific flights from Hong Kong to Fijis resort city of Nadi.

Fijis Tourism Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said opportunities and tourism numbers were expected to increase dramatically.

The Chinese Embassy in Fiji said the direct flight from Nadi to Hong Kong will boost tourist arrivals from China.

The Chinese Embassy Counselor in Fiji, Fei Mingxing, said the recent move by Air Pacific was a great one and would increase tourist numbers from Asian countries.

For the first time, Air Pacific in its 2008 and 2009 financial year, recorded 1 million passengers on their carrier destined for Fiji and the introduction of new routes are expected to rake in millions of dollars.

The direct flight from Hong Kong to Nadi move has been welcomed after Air Pacific noted a fall in demand from the Tokyo-Nadi route.

Air Pacific recorded losses from this route and that was why they canceled it.

Despite four years of attempting to improve the number of tourists for the Tokyo-Nadi route, results were negative.

Hong Kong is popular for being a major hub and it is hoped that the new move would place tourism as a major source of income for the Pacific island nation.

Fiji has the largest market share of Chinese visitors compared to its neighboring Pacific island countries.

source: Xinhua News Agency

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