KIWI VISITORS TO FIJI UP 32 PERCENT IN DECEMBER

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Feb. 4, 2008) - New Zealand visitors to Fiji appear to be on the increase, with arrivals up 32 percent for December.

Statistics New Zealand reported that in December, there were more trips by New Zealand residents to countries in the Pacific and Asia than in December 2006.

The biggest increase was in trips to Fiji (up 1,900 or 32 percent), followed by China (up 1,700 or 22 percent), India (up 900 or 19 percent), the Cook Islands (up 800 or 23 percent) and New Caledonia (up 800 or 188 percent), Scoop Business quoted Statistics NZ as saying.

Overall, New Zealand residents departed on 199,700 short-term overseas trips, up 9200 or 5 percent from December 2006.

December month departures of residents have been steadily increasing since 2001, the news website said.

However, for the year ended December 2007, New Zealand visitors to Fiji declined by 8 percent influenced by the political situation in the country.

Scoop Business reports that New Zealand residents departed on 1.980 million overseas trips, up 116,400 (6 percent) from the December 2006 year.

Trips to Australia were up 48,500 (5 percent), but trips to Fiji were down 8800 (8 percent), influenced by the political situation in that country.

On the other hand, in the year ended December 2007, there were 2.466 million visitor arrivals to New Zealand, up 44,100 (2 percent) from the previous year.

There were more visitors from Australia, China, South Africa and Thailand, but fewer visitors from Japan, Korea, the United States, Fiji, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals were the same as departures in December 2007, it said.

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