Fiji has for many years been the favourite stopping point in the Pacific for long-distance jetliners.
Fiji has for many years been the favourite stopping point in the Pacific for long-distance jetliners. But now the former British colony is enjoying a healthy tourist boom as more and more travellers are deciding to break their trans-Pacific journey by several days rather than a few hours.
More than 200,000 tourists from the U.S.A., Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand spent time in the small island group last year, earning the now-independent Fijian nation a bonanza of nearly GBP12 million Sterling.
The Government of Fiji is taking full advantage of the boom by sponsoring special carnivals and shows which demonstrate effectively the colourful traditional ceremonies and dances of this ancient Pacific culture.
Visitors can witness tribal dances, art shows, displays of arts and crafts: they can also watch the distinctive Fijian huts being erected, and dug-out canoes being scooped out of tree-trunks... the most daring tourists are invited to have a ride in the precarious little boats.
With the tourist trade likely to increase this year to as high as 45%, Fiji is hard-pressed to provide hotel space for the huge influx of visitors. International companies are being encouraged to invest in huge new hotel complexes as several suitable locations, and a Fijian Minister of Tourism has been appointed to make sure full advantage is taken of this valuable new boost to the country's economy.