Slow flow of tourists from Australia to Pacific

THERE was a decline in the flow of tourists from Australia to the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga during the first four months of 2017, according to the July 2017 issue of the Asian Development Bank Pacific Economic Monitor.

The number of tourists who left Australia for Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga fell by 2.6 per cent during the first four months of this year, 2017. Vanuatu, however recorded an increase.

There was also a decline in the number of tourists who departed New Zealand for the South Pacific tourist destination. During the first four months in 2016, the growth of tourists to the South Pacific was double-digit, during the same period this year, it was only 1.6 per cent.

There was a decline in the number of New Zealand tourists for Fiji and Tonga, but the figure for Samoa remained unchanged. The Cook Islands was reported to sustain a strong growth rate of tourists arrivals while Vanuatu recorded a modest growth.

Meanwhile, economic growth in the Pacific subregion was reported to have dropped to 2.6 per centr in 2016, comparing with an 8.3 per cent growth in 2015. The Pacific subregion economic drop driven by a slowdown in the growth of the Papua New Guinea economy, the largest economy among the ADB’s 14 Pacific member countries.

However, economic recovery in some of the Pacific’s larger economies is expected to push regional economic growth to 2.9 per cent in 2017 and 3.3 per cent in 2018.

The Asian Development Bank Pacific Economic Monitor for July 2017 provides an update of developments in Pacific economies and explores topical policy issues.