Returning tourists say a lot has changed for the good

September 24, 2022 4:30 pm

After two years, the first cruise liner docked in Suva this morning.

Carnival Splendor has over 2,000 tourists and about 1,000 crew members on board.

For an Australian couple Helen and Wayne they’ve waited for over two years to return to Fiji.

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Helen says the last time they visited Fiji on a cruise liner was three years ago. Today she was surprised at the new developments.

[Australian couple Helen and Wayne]

“We’ve been waiting two years for Australian to be able to go cruising again, so we are very happy. The last time we came was three years ago, there’s even new buildings, it looks pretty good from the ship.”

Helen says following their last trip to Fiji, they had to cruise around the Pacific for about a month before disembarking due to COVID-19.

Another tourist says he last visited Fiji in 2004 and stayed in Nadi and Suva, and has also noticed the many developments.

For local handicraft vendor Apakuki Tabuakuru business was slow however, he says this first cruise liner is a positive sign that more ships can now be expected.

[Local handicraft vendor Apakuki Tabuakuru]

“It’s the first one to arrive in Suva because it’s been after two years and even more than that, no ship has arrived in Suva.”

Despite the gloomy weather in the capital, Tabuakuru remains positive he will make some sales.

Tabuakuru, who is also the president of the Fijian Craft and Tourist Guide, says tourists will have a lot of varieties to choose from as there are new designs being sold at the market.