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Fishing Tourism Specifics

  • Pacific Island countries that are most popular with avid-anglers on fishing holidays are Kiribati (in particular Kiritimati Island for fly fishing) and Papua New Guinea (for PNG Black Bass and Barramundi).
  • The average length of a fishing tourism trip globally where the purpose is mainly to fish is 7-8 days and the average cost of a trip is US$4,600 per person including accommodation, meals and fully equipped fishing trips.
  • Half day game fishing trips in Pacific Island countries start at around US$150 per person based on minimum 4 anglers.
  • Full day trips start at around $300 per person based on minimum 4 anglers.

Fishing Tourism Accommodation 

  • Accommodation is important to avid-anglers who travel purely for the purpose of fishing.  There has been an increase in quality fishing lodge accommodation around Pacific Islands countries over the past few years.  The recent opening of Lake Murray Lodge in PNG is an example.  New properties on Kiritimati Island have also come online.  Relaxing with friends after a days’ fishing is an integral part of the fishing holiday experience.
  • For those who do day trips, their fishing holiday is usually in combination with activities that may include other family members or partners.  Accommodation is therefore not a major influence on their fishing.

Fishing Tourism Transport

Fishing tourists will generally be travelling to a single fishing destination.  For some of the more sought after fishing destinations this usually means connecting flights and/or overnight stopovers.  Below is a summary of direct air services to key fishing destinations.

Kiritimati Island, Kiribati.     Fiji Airways weekly Honolulu – Kiritimati (CXI)
                                                Fiji Airways weekly Nadi (Fiji) – Kiritimati (CXI)
PNG                                        Air Niugini from Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Japan, Philippines                                         and Hong Kong to Port Moresby (POM).  Where connections                                       are made to major fishing tourism destinations, Mt Hagen (for                                          Lake Murray and Bensbach) and Hoskins (Baia Sportsfishing).
Cook Islands                         from Australia, NZ and USA
Fiji Islands                             from Australia, NZ, Korea, Hong Kong and USA
French Polynesia                  from USA, Japan, NZ and Chile
Marshall Islands                    from Honolulu and FSM.  Also from Australia via Nauru
Niue                                        from NZ
Samoa                                     from Australia, NZ, Fiji and Honolulu.
Solomon Islands                   from Australia, PNG, Fiji
Tonga                                     from Australia, NZ and Fiji
Vanuatu                                  from Australia, NZ and Fiji

Fishing tourism attributes

Fishing tourism is driven by the type of fishing, species available and seasons.  There are also a number of other important attributes that drive fishing tourism.  These include:

  • Skipper or guide. Having someone who knows the best fishing grounds is paramount.
  • Conservation.  Sports fishing is about the skill of catching not so much the catch itself.
  • Equipment.  Avid anglers are keen on using the best tackle and equipment.

Opportunities for Travel Agents and Tour Operators

  • Effective marketing of the fishing tourism activities within Pacific Island countries are an important way of selling the ‘experience’, not just the destination.
  • An understanding of the differences between types of fishing and knowing the importance of species and seasonality will help match the angler with a destination.
  • Destination marketing in source markets should include selected fishing and boat shows, fishing and boating social media sites and forums.
  • In Pacific Islands countries introduce fishing tourists with the local fishing club and/or association.
  • Produce webpages, guidebooks and promotional materials that highlight what matters to fishing tourists.

Issues in the Marketplace 

  • Fishing tourism relies on the right infrastructure being available and it is important to have back up plans when equipment breaks  and parts are not on hand.
  • Pre-promotion research of potential sports fishing locations.  Developing a knowledge of how a particular location may compare to others especially in terms of species and seasonality.
  • Ensuring fishing guides and skippers are adequately trained to be knowledgeable of fishing grounds and expectations of fishing tourists.