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Fiji Time: 10:08 AM on Sunday 20 April

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Awareness setback for eco-tourism

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A DETAILED survey carried out on two eco-tourism sites in the Western Division reported that poor branding, awareness and infrastructure as being impediments to making eco-tourism sites self-sustainable.

Also revealed during the study was a lack of training, guidance and advice in villages located close to the sites which could assist in developing little industries to complement eco-tourism activities.

The study was conducted by 16 members of international eco-tourism organisations who attended a five-day Asian Productivity Organisation course on planning and management of eco-tourism last week.

Satendra Nair, the FNU'S deputy director executive management and hospitality services at the National Training and Productivity Centre, said Fiji had a lot of potential but more could be done.

"In terms of the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, we conducted a detailed survey and assessment and we are going to do a report and analysis and give this to the government and also the Unit Trust of Fiji in terms of the recommendations by this forum on how we can improve this national asset," he said.

"One of the weaknesses we have found is poor branding and awareness in terms of promoting it in the industry and internationally as eco-tourism sites.

"One of the biggest things I have seen is all or most of these sites need to be self-sustainable."