Local Village Communities of Ovalau, Fiji Receive Training on Sustainable Tourism

Local Village Communities of Ovalau, Fiji  Receive Training on Sustainable Tourism

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) in partnership with the Fiji Department of Heritage & Arts delivered a training workshop in Levuka, Ovalau last week focused on

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) in partnership with the Fiji Department of Heritage & Arts delivered a training workshop in Levuka, Ovalau last week focused on increasing community livelihood opportunities through sustainable tourism.

Ovalau is the sixth largest island in Fiji. It is located in Lomaiviti Archipelago. Situated at 17.70° South and 178.8° East, the island is about 13 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide

SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker said the workshop was to assist  communities to think about the potential of tourism-focused businesses and balancing them with sustaining the local environment (land and sea), community (way of life)  and culture (arts and heritage).

“ Communities and the tourism industry in Levuka town and the island of Ovalau can capitalise on the status of Levuka as a UNESCO World Heritage site.”

“We are keen advocates of sustainable tourism and delivering this training means increased awareness and participation of communities in environmental conservation efforts that support the sustainable development of tourism, this is the future of regional tourism, think local, act global,” said Mr. Cocker

“The villages of Ovalau had expressed the need to be involved in tourism activities so as to provide an experience that complements the tour of the World Heritage Site, that is the Historical Port Town of Levuka” said Director of the Department of Heritage and Arts, Collin Yabaki.

“We want the people of Ovalau to experience the benefits of being located at the heart of a World Heritage Site, and that in increasing tourism will generate income and employment that will trickle down to the communities and villages. We want them to know that there is another option to the Pacific Fishing Company Limited (PAFCO). Foremost we want Ovalau to be able to provide a ‘heritage tourism’ experience as an aspect that will differentiate the island from other parts of Fiji” added Mr Yabaki.

50 participants representing village development committees, women’s and youth groups from around the island of Ovalau attended the workshop which was officiated by the Roko Tui Lomaiviti, Ratu Penijamini Velitokaduadua.

Addressing the participants, Ratu Penijamini emphasized the importance of educating and creating awareness amongst communities on the value and benefits from tourism development. “Programs such as this need to be extended to the outer islands of Lomaiviti to inspire tourism business development.”

The training was supported through the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office Fiji and was delivered through presentations and interactive group exercises, role-playing, talanoa and storytelling.

SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker said the workshop was to assist  communities to think about the potential of tourism-focused businesses and balancing them with sustaining the local environment (land and sea), community (way of life)  and culture (arts and heritage).

“ Communities and the tourism industry in Levuka town and the island of Ovalau can capitalise on the status of Levuka as a UNESCO World Heritage site.”

“We are keen advocates of sustainable tourism and delivering this training means increased awareness and participation of communities in environmental conservation efforts that support the sustainable development of tourism, this is the future of regional tourism, think local, act global,” said Mr. Cocker

“The villages of Ovalau had expressed the need to be involved in tourism activities so as to provide an experience that complements the tour of the World Heritage Site, that is the Historical Port Town of Levuka” said Director of the Department of Heritage and Arts, Collin Yabaki.

“We want the people of Ovalau to experience the benefits of being located at the heart of a World Heritage Site, and that in increasing tourism will generate income and employment that will trickle down to the communities and villages. We want them to know that there is another option to the Pacific Fishing Company Limited (PAFCO). Foremost we want Ovalau to be able to provide a ‘heritage tourism’ experience as an aspect that will differentiate the island from other parts of Fiji” added Mr Yabaki.

50 participants representing village development committees, women’s and youth groups from around the island of Ovalau attended the workshop which was officiated by the Roko Tui Lomaiviti, Ratu Penijamini Velitokaduadua.

Addressing the participants, Ratu Penijamini emphasized the importance of educating and creating awareness amongst communities on the value and benefits from tourism development. “Programs such as this need to be extended to the outer islands of Lomaiviti to inspire tourism business development.”

The training was supported through the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office Fiji and was delivered through presentations and interactive group exercises, role-playing, talanoa and storytelling.


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