Fiji Tourism is rocking despite the country having been hit by cyclones. The first quarter of 2016 had Fiji recording unprecedented visitor arrivals, adding cheer to the country’s tourism industry.

Announcing this, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the increase in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 was something to be proud of. He was inaugurating the third Fiji Tourism Expo at Denarau Island on Wednesday, reports FBC.

“I’m very pleased and proud to report that this is not the case at all. In the first quarter of 2016, we received a total of 158,069 visitors, which is an increase of 10.2 percent compared to the same period last year.”

The PM said: “March visitor arrivals alone totalled 55,977, and was up 9.7 percent from the same period last year. So far from being down in the wake of Cyclone Winston, our arrivals have actually gone up.”

He added that Fiji is developing and strengthening strong niche markets, including conventions, weddings, and sporting tourism.

Fiji’s three-day tourism expo is being attended by more than 150 sellers and buyers from 19 countries. They are networking and buying packages from more than 100 exhibitors of the Fijian tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Tourism Fiji chairman Truman Bradley said Australian Tourists should optimise Fiji tourism. “What I find is that it’s been docile… it hasn’t extremely grown or contracted, it has rolled along,” he told Travel Weekly.

For Fiji, Australian visitors represent 35 percent of its inbound tourism, which is 4 percent of the outbound Australian traffic.

Calling for more short breaks from Australia, he said travellers can arrive Friday and spend the weekend, which is just three hours from the east coast.

He said Fiji tourism market has matured and cited the adventure travel sector, with offerings like shark diving, trekking, deep-sea fishing and white water rafting. At the same time, the conventional markets of families, weddings and honeymoons are remaining very strong.