VISITORS to Fiji can look forward to a new type of tourist destination as Levuka prepares to showcase its well-preserved architectural heritage and historical landmarks.
A government statement said on Tuesday, the Tourism Ministry hosted an industry consultation in Levuka with stakeholders to discuss strategies and steps required to begin to position Levuka Town as a world-class heritage site.
This follows Levuka's submission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to become a listed World Heritage Site early last year, and a follow-up visit from an independent assessment team in October.
Tourism permanent secretary Elizabeth Powell said as Levuka awaited UNESCO's decision, which is expected in June or July, there was still much work to be done by stakeholders on the island to better cater for this niche tourism market.
"Levuka has a unique cultural and heritage that differentiates it from other international visitor destinations in Fiji," she said.
"Local operators must work together to develop innovative schemes with which the ministry can assist so that we develop a product that meets the demands of heritage tourists, such as historical guided tours, booklets that map Levuka's many heritages and cultural sites and tell the stories of past prominent figures, informational signage, appropriate marketing material, public facilities, and quality heritage handicraft and souvenirs."
Ms Powell said Levuka should look beyond the challenges of access and infrastructure to find ways to highlight the town's strengths as one of the South Pacific's best preserved old colonial towns.