Company focuses on habitats

BAREFOOT Collection, a company comprising two resorts including Barefoot Manta Island Resort and four dive schools, is committed to working with local communities in protecting the manta ray and reef shark habitats as these are icons of the Yasawa Islands.

Barefoot Manta Island Resort general manager Maurice Strijp said the company had sustainability practices in place for its operations.

“This in turn permits us and the Yasawa Islands to become an increasingly attractive travel destination where sustainable tourism can thrive and make the relationship between our business and surroundings even more harmonious,” Mr Strijp said.

“We have also declared no fishing zones in certain areas, outlawed sewage dumping in our company, minimised traffic at dive and snorkelling sites and removed invasive species and alien vegetation from our environment, among many other things.

“All these approaches are stable, practical and crucially sustainable.”

Mr Strijp said the company would continue to invest its profits back into existing land and marine conservation initiatives.

“We want to minimise economic leakage to ensure revenue generated by our operations not only remains in Fiji but allow us to reinvest in the local economy, our nearby communities and the surrounding environment.

“More than 90 per cent of our workforce is Fijian while the vast majority of our day-to-day resources and other supplies are locally-sourced.

“This maximises the chance for us to reinvest our profits back into pre-existing initiatives such as our many land and marine conservation programs.”

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