Backpackers emerging as important tourist segment


<p style="text-align: justify;">Most Pacific Islands tourist destinations tend to project their high end products in their marketing communications. It is only recently that the budget tourist including the growing backpacker segment has been formally recognised by island markets.<!--more--></p>

[caption id="attachment_2174" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Backpackers in Fiji. Photo: Tourism Fiji"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-2174" title="Fiji Backpacker" src="" alt="" width="250" height="150" /></a>[/caption]
<p style="text-align: justify;">The growth of budget airlines starting with Samoa’s Polynesian Blue and followed by others gave an impetus and a profile to the fledgling budget tourist industry in the islands. Thanks to Polynesian Blue, low cost accommodation around Samoa – including beach fales – is emerging as one of the growing segments in islands tourism.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Close on the heels of the Fiji Backpackers Forum held in Nadi earlier this year, Tourism Fiji held a dedicated trade show for the backpacker industry this week. Some 56 Australian travel agents were given an insight into Fiji’s backpacking segment. Tourism Fiji told the travel professionals that it was committed to ensuring the development of the industry.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“What we are currently doing right now is bringing in travel agents from around the world to make them have a feel and actually see the different activities that the backpacker industry provides,” said Pranesh Kant, Tourism Fiji’s regional director for Australia.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Errol Fifer, President of the Fiji Islands Backpackers Association said, “This is another product in Fiji which not many people know off and only come to hear about it when they pass by near the road.”</p>
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