The quality of the yacht and cruising experience in Fiji really enhances the overall appeal and depth of the destination, Tourism Fiji chairman Patrick Wong says.
Mr Wong said with an increase in Fiji marinas and a growth in yachts cruising worldwide and the Pacific, there was ongoing potential for an increase in the yachting market.
He made the comment at the presentation of the President’s Cup for the ANZ Auckland Denarau Ocean Race 2010 at Port Denarau.
“As more marinas are developed providing cyclone secured anchorage, more yachts are likely to stay over the cyclone season and further develop a yacht repair and service industry.
“At the same time bearing in mind protecting our sensitive coastal environment,” he said.
Mr Wong said the income from yachts usually exceeded US$2500 (F$5068) per month.
He said the vessels crews mainly spent in ports and occasional resorts and village visits.
Mr Wong said resource owners’ participation was encouraged with visits to islands as it would spread the benefits of the tourism dollar.
“The promotion of the yachting market matches the aims of the Fiji Government because it spreads the tourism dollar throughout the islands.
“The economic benefits experienced by Fiji are expenditure by passengers, crews, ports and dockage fees, refuelling and consumables,” he said.
Mr Wong said the Fiji product was very diverse.
He said Tourism Fiji’s objective was to increase destination awareness.
Mr Wong said in regards to this they were working closely with yacht marinas, club owners and service providers.
Fiji Sun – NANDIKA CHAND