Restoring Tourism Destinations in Crisis: A Strategic Marketing Approach

By David Beirman | Go to book overview

7
FIJI: POLITICAL COUPS,
1987 AND 2000

Post-crisis tourism recovery

CRISIS RANKING: DESTCON 3


INTRODUCTION

The Melanesian islands of Fiji are located in the Southwest Pacific, 1500 kilometres north-northeast of New Zealand. There are 300 tropical islands, of which 50 are inhabited. The Fijian islands incorporate the longest continuous stretch of coral reef outside Australia's Great Barrier Reef. These islands fulfil many idealised images of the South Seas, with their palm-fringed sandy beaches, dramatic forest-clad inland mountains, crystal clear waters and coral atolls. The Fijians are well known as friendly and hospitable people. Tourism marketers of Fiji seek to present the islands as encapsulating all the beauty and romance of the South Pacific. Brochures promoting holidays to Fiji are naturally filled with all these enticing images. For most tourists whose experience of Fiji is confined to resorts on the main island of Viti Levu or on nearby islands, most of these idyllic images are fulfilled. Australian, New Zealand, American or Japanese package tourists to Fiji are welcomed by their genuinely friendly Fijian hosts with a hearty ‘Bula’ (hello and welcome) at Nadi Airport and transferred by air-conditioned coach to Fiji's magnificent coastal or island resorts.

Beneath the genuine beauty of Fiji and the hospitality shown by the Fijian people to its tourists, there is a society bitterly divided between two peoples of similar numbers competing for their political, social and economic place

-132-

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