TWO tourists were greeted by the majestic sight of a humpback whale on their way to an island resort in Lomaiviti on Tuesday.
Seru Saumakidonu, who was picking up guests bound for Leleuvia Island Resort, said the whale was spotted between Caqalai and Leleuvia.
And he added that this was not the first whale of the year. Last month he spotted a mother and calf.
Leleuvia Island Resort manager Colin Philps said whales passed through the waters every year.
"Countries like Tonga earn millions of dollars in tourism each year from whale watching, and it is something that Fiji should be looking more closely at," he said.
"Leleuvia Island Resort does not have an organised whale watching, but if whales are sighted we load up a boat and take guests out to see them, keeping a safe distance away," he said.
He said it was important to respect whales.
"I know that in Tonga they run classes every year with boat drivers and operators to make sure they're following international guidelines, which hasn't been done in Fiji at all."