Fiji makes moves to bring in more Korean tourists

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Fiji makes moves to bring in more Korean tourists

Fiji has long been known as a luxurious honeymoon destination, but the Pacific island nation wants to gain more attention for itself in Korea, according to its Seoul tourism office.

Tourism Fiji Korea, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, held a press conference yesterday in central Seoul and said it will try to attract more Korean tourists to the nation, which consists of about 330 islets, by highlighting its varied travel plans. Different groups of tourists, such as families who want to stay in Fiji for months or travelers interested in activities like golf, will be targeted.

“Even though there is a direct flight between Incheon International Airport and Fiji, we’ve seen rather a steady number of Korean travelers coming to Fiji,” said Daisy Park, the regional director for Tourism Fiji Korea, during the press conference. “Because all the facilities are designed to be environmentally friendly, [the resorts and beaches of] Fiji are not as flashy as those of other nearby islands like Tahiti, but Fiji will offer so much more than you expect because each island is different.”

Korean Air Lines operates direct flights between Incheon and Fiji. A one-way trip takes about 9 hours and 40 minutes.

Last year, Fiji had 670,000 tourists, a majority of them from Australia and New Zealand, but only 1 percent were Koreans - mostly newlyweds. But the island nation considers Korea, China and Russia to be the tourist markets with the most potential after Australia and New Zealand.

“We think the Korean market has become mature enough to embrace long-distance resort countries as their next destinations,” said Park.

With many islands to explore, Fiji has another selling point: its wide range of lodging. Park says tourists can relax at seven-star hotels or dormitories that charge about 10,000 won per night.

For example, Beachcomber Island Resort, which is about 19 kilometers (11 miles) away from Nadi International Airport in Fiji, has dormitories for 80,000 won ($77) per night, but the price includes three meals a day and activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.

BY SUNG SO-YOUNG [so@joongang.co.kr ]




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