A Billion Dollar Industry

The marketing strategy of the Fiji Visitors Bureau aims to make tourism a billion dollar industry by 2007. And if arrivals numbers are an indication, that goal could be achieved a year early. Airports Fiji Ltd reports that Fiji received 545,000 visitors in 2005, a substantial jump from the 430,800 in 2003. This year's target is 576,000. Tourism passed sugar as a moneymaker for Fiji in 1989, and some 40,000 local jobs now depend on it. That's a significant number when you consider that Fiji's total population is under a million.

Now, if you're getting the impression that you'll be overwhelmed by the golden hordes in Fiji, relax. A large majority of Fiji visitors head straight for their resorts after landing at Nadi International Airport, and large parts of the country are relatively unvisited. Head east instead of west once you've cleared the airport, and you'll soon leave the packaged masses behind.

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