20 Jul 2013

Fiji says more work to be done on eco-tourism

5:06 am on 20 July 2013

Fiji is trying to boost eco-tourism as a way of opening up the lesser-travelled parts of the country.

The minister for tourism Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says Fiji has had a limited approach to eco-tourism in the past, but there is more to Fiji than white sandy beaches.

He says the Volivoli caves near Sigatoka was recently opened to tourists after consultation with scientists and landowners.

He says improvement is needed in segmenting the industry so that there is variety for tourists, and proper management must be in place to ensure operations succeed.

"We need to have a proper management in place to ensure that the moneys they get as fees for the entrance to the caves gets equally distributed because it's communally-held land. Also that you tie up with the inbound operators and we want to help them have that connectivity, so there's a number of areas that need to be addressed."

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiuym says Fiji has also established a new system to certify original handicrafts which are distinguished from cheap imported ones and sold to tourists.