Given its geographic location in the South Pacific, Fiji is more acutely aware of the effects of climate change than most, being particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels.
This means it is one of the most eco-conscious destinations in the world – perfect for reconnecting with yourself, your families and nature.
If you’re looking to combine your love of travel with a commitment to sustainable tourism,Fijian resorts are leading the way.
The tourism industry contributes significantly to Fiji’s economy as the country’s largest foreign exchange earner.
COVID-19 had a major impact on international travel and like other tourism destinations, the Fiji tourism industry suffered greatly as airlines, hotels and tour operators shut their doors and numerous livelihoods were affected.
Since reopening its borders in early December 2021, Fiji has enjoyed the steady and safe return of visitors. Fiji has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to its shores and provided jobs both directly and indirectly.
And while tourism is a good thing, as with all countries, it has impacted Fiji’s environment, with nature and local communities coming under pressure as the country accommodates the increasing number of tourists every year.
That’s why sustainable tourism should be a top priority for everyone. But what does ecotourism mean? And is it effective?
WHAT IS ECOTOURISM IN FIJI?
The simplest way to explain the concept of ecotourism in Fiji is to travel responsibly.
Ecotourism is tourism that centers around an awareness of the environment and the local community. As eco-tourists, the goal is to visit an area with the wellbeing of the local people and nature in mind. Not only should you respect their home, but you should actively improve it whenever you can.
When done right, ecotourism in Fijicreates a lasting impact on local communities and ecosystems for years to come.
There are many ways to approach ecotourism, but most share a few common elements. One of the most important is tourism education. Successful ecotourism begins with the tourist being aware of the impact they are making on the places they visit. Only then can they take active steps to help protect the local ecosystem.
Education also extends to teaching tourists important conservation efforts like recycling, reducing water consumption and promoting local crafts instead of mass-produced souvenirs.
Ecotourism in Fijican make your trip much more enjoyable and meaningful. You’ll leavewith a better understanding and appreciation of the local culture and environment. More importantly, you’ll gain a sense of fulfilment from having made a difference in the lives of the people and animals you left behind.
WHAT DOES ECOTOURISM IN FIJI MEAN FOR TURTLE ISLAND?
Turtle Island Resort is a pioneer in conservation having practised positive sustainable tourism activities since Richard Evanson Snr. bought the island in 1972. Turtle Island’s key pillars of community, culture, commerce, conservation and connection continue to guide Turtle Island’s practices to this day.
Ecotourism has helped protect the island’s environment. Sustainably-built facilities help conserve the island’s natural resources. Accommodation and internal furnishings are made from sustainable recycled materials, which include fallen tree limbs gathered from the island’s forests.
Reforestation of cleared areas gives animals an excellent habitat to live in. The Turtle Island staff has planted more than half a million trees on the island encouraging biodiversity, re-establishing indigenous forests and adding to the island’s natural beauty.
When the environment is protected, it has a positive impact on Turtle Island’s wildlife as well.One of the most beautiful but endangered species in the waters surrounding the island is the sea turtle.
The resort’s Turtle Conservation Program, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), helps save the lives of these endangered creatures. Local fishermen bring sea turtles, that are accidentally caught, to Turtle Island where they are measured, weighed, tagged, and released back into the ocean. Data collected by the resort, such as weight, size and distinctive markings, is sent to the WWF and helps save turtles by providing this valuable information to scientists and researchers. Guests, especially kids during family time, are given a glimpse into Turtle Island’s conservation efforts, so that they might have a better appreciation of it.
Ecotourism in Fiji has a significant impact on the way of life of the local Fijians. Employing the majority of its staff from the local villages in the community, Turtle Island has given these warm and hospitable people a chance to earn a living wage without having to sacrifice their culture and identity. This also allows them to continue protecting the unspoiled beauty of the islands so that future generations may enjoy it as they do.
FIJI ECOTOURISM: HOW TO PUT THE PRINCIPLES INTO ACTION?
You can become an eco-tourist today by following a few simple steps:
Always be more conscious of your water and electricity usage even when you’re in your hotel room. Turn off the lights and TV when you plan to go out.
It’s also a good idea to put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door and reuse towels if you can. This reduces the water, electricity, and cleaning chemicals used by the staff in tidying up your room.
It’s also helpful to get into the habit of recycling and reusing everything as much as you can. Use a reusable BPA-free water bottle, so you don’t need to use a plastic mineral water bottle. Consider putting back the brochure or maps after you use them so they can be reused.
When buying souvenirs or looking for activities to do, always look for local, sustainable options. Opt for souvenirs made by the locals using sustainable materials. Meet the locals and embrace their culture.
Whatever you do, don’t leave trash or anything behind.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST FIJI ECO-RESORT?
Research companies, hotels, or tour groups carefully. Take a look at their website and see what their initiatives are in protecting the wildlife and local community. Ask them about their carbon footprint, and whether they offer any cultural immersion activities. A true ecotourism company will be proud of this fact, and will happily walk you through the steps they take to be eco-friendly.
FIJI ECO-RESORT: TURTLE ISLAND
At Turtle Island, we care about the environment and local culture as much as we care about giving you an unforgettable Fiji vacation. If you want to experience ecotourism in Fijiat its finest, book your stay with us. The breathtaking beauty, delicious cuisine and warm people of Fiji await.