More options for sustainable tourism-driven destinations

Co-founder of the Laucala Beach Sustainability Society (LBSS) Dr Apisalome Movono left, with staff of the iTaukei Trust Fund Board and the caretaker at the Laucala Beach Heritage site. Picture: ATU RASEA

Indigenous plants surrounding the land for protection. The threat of war looming. tribal warriors standing their ground on ring-ditch fortifications.

An image from about 800 years ago, a complex and compelling history that isn’t often given the consideration and interest it deserves.

An authentic reconstruction of a native warrior’s outpost on the Laucala Beach Heritage Site might be just what’s needed to bring this moment in history the local and tourist attention it could have.

The Laucala Beach Sustainability Society (LBSS) with its partners on the heritage site project commissioned Professor Fergus Clunie, an expert on archaeological digs, to advise the team on where to dig next and how to restore the site to its former glory.

Co-founder of the LBSS, Dr Apisalome Movono believes the site’s restoration could serve as a way to preserve our native history while simultaneously taking a step towards more options for sustainable tourism driven destinations for both locals and tourists.

“The main objective behind it was to be a pilot, because a lot of these villages have their own historic sites that have tourism potential,” he said of his hope that the site would encourage more communities to come together to preserve and restore historic sites.

Beyond a tourism opportunity he also expressed his desire for more locals to take an interest in local history so ancient stories, sites, and skills wouldn’t be lost to time.

The site is still in the process of discovering what will be needed for a fully authentic recreation and is still seeking external grants and support to sustain the project beyond the critical support it has already received from partners such as the iTaukei Trust Fund Board.

Current LBSS partners include the National Trust of Fiji (custodian), Nasinu Town Council, Fiji Museum, USP Discipline of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Massey University, the iTaukei Trust Fund Board, Lomai ‘Ama Development Association and the QVS Old Boys Association.

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