It's a year since Fiji re-opened for happiness.
Covid-19 in Fiji
For two years Fiji closed its doors to visitors in the hope of preventing Covid-19 infection. This was a brave decision, as all economic indicators crashed, including government and private incomes, employment and exports. Fiji is heavily dependent on tourism, which used to account for around 40 per cent of GDP, so this was no surprise.
We can readily understand the hardship caused by job losses when holiday resorts close, but hundreds of Fiji businesses used to supply the resorts with food, uniforms, curtains, handicrafts, toiletries and furniture. Closed resorts don't need any of these things. You can read in more detail about how the resourceful Fijian people coped in my earlier posts here and here.
How many people found Fiji in 2022 ?
From December 2021, Fiji offered quarantine-free travel to fully vaccinated tourists from 48 Travel Partner countries. And visitors came - at first a trickle that soon swelled to a river. During that first year, Fiji welcomed around 600,000 visitors from all over the world. What's more, surveys by Tourism Fiji show they spent more (12 per cent more), stayed longer (14 per cent increase to an average 9.7 nights) and were more satisfied (from 89% to 93%) than before the pandemic. This is because everyone in Fiji has been trying their best to make visitors happy. But recovery was not complete, so in February this year, Fiji dropped all qualifications and restrictions on visitors. Let's hope with Tourism Fiji that tourist numbers this year may even exceed pre-pandemic levels because the livelihoods of the majority of the population depend upon it.
During my years in Fiji, I visited as many islands as I could. None of my trips was longer than a week and many were just weekends, but I sampled enough tranquil gems and challenging terrain to appreciate that Fiji offers much more than sand and coconut palms. Best of all, wherever you go and whatever you do, Fijians will always be welcoming and wonderfully friendly. The best time to start planning your Fiji vacation is now! Don't forget to pack your travel reading - the Fiji Islands Mysteries, of course! (https://www.bmallsopp.com/books)
To welcome new members to B.M. Allsopp's Fiji Fan Club, I've compiled a subjective collection of my blog posts from the first three years. In Finding Fiji you’ll discover snippets about Fiji, quirky images and hot links to cool music and video clips you won’t come across anywhere else. If you're not a member already, sign up on the form below or just tap the Finding Fiji cover.
I have been finding Fiji for twenty years and I still have a long way to go. I hope this little e-book will guide you on your own voyage of discovery to these glorious islands and their wonderful people.
As ever, I'd welcome your comments and questions about this post.
Bernadette (B.M. Allsopp)