sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Fiji - a dream sail and getting better...
Fiji - a dream sail and getting better...


'Fiji sailing'    .

Fiji is one of the 'must see' stops in the South Pacific, and the locals are working to make it even more enticing. To find out what cruising sailors thought of Fiji, and how their visits could be improved, Tevita Vuibau has asked the cruising boats who pass by to tell their reactions.

Here she tells of the joy of the seafarers, their discovery of Fiji, their worries and the negative perception of yachties to these magic isles.


When the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association conducted its 2012 Marine Industry Survey to discern the impact of the yachting industry on the economy of Fiji, there were many praises sung by international yachties of the joy of cruising Fiji waters.

Unfortunately, there were also a fair share of complaints.

Chief among those were that there was no port of entry in the Lau Group and the accuracy of charts within Fiji waters was questionable.

According to the Marine Survey 2012, Fiji received 662 boats in 2012 of which 40 were superyachts while 628 yachts visited in 2011 with 37 being superyachts.

In 2012, the yachts spent an average of 71 days in the country spending a combined $30million, an increase of $765,005 on 2011 figures.

And 39 per cent of these yachts visiting Fiji listed Tonga as their last port of call.

Sailing from Tonga to one of the ports of entry on either Viti Levu or Vanua Levu meant that many yachts had to forego sailing the picturesque Lau islands.

Lau - could be a first stop in Fiji, coming from Tonga -  .. .  

As the islands are located upwind of the ports of entry many yachties decide to forego the hassle of sailing windward to view the Lau Group and this showed in the survey with only 28.7 per cent of yachts visiting Fiji taking time out to travel to the Lau islands.

This meant that many of the villages in Lau missed out on benefitting from the $33million that yachts spend in Fiji annually.

'Would have been nice to come from Tonga and stay in the Lau Group before going to Savusavu,' one yachtie mentioned in the survey.

Another yachtie also listed 'not being able to stop at the Lau Group on the way from Tonga' as a disappointment.

So when Fiji border agencies decided to band together and offer yachts on the Oyster World Rally a chance to use Nabavatu in Vanuabalavu as a temporary port of entry two weeks ago, the idea was met with much welcome from those in the tourism industry.

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association marine operators subcommittee co-ordinator John Philp said if a permanent port of entry was opened in Lomaloma, there would be benefits, not only for the yachts, but for the people as well.

He explained that as facilities expanded to cater for the yachts it would also mean that villagers gained access to more services and would be able to earn money by supplying international yachts with consumables.

He also said the arrival of the Oyster World Rally would boost Fiji's profile to international yachts.

'The Oyster rally is a big event and it's very high profile. The Oysters are like the Mercedes Benz of yachts, production yachts, so in terms of promotional advertising for Fiji it's very, very high-profile and we hope this will attract even more yachts to the country,' Mr Philp said.

With positive steps being taken to address a port of entry in Lau, a major issue remains to be tackled and that is the one of inaccurate charts.

And it is a challenge that is being met by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).

In the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association survey, a number of yachties were critical of the accuracy of charts in Fiji waters with many voicing their displeasure.

When questioned on some of their least favourite things about their trip to Fiji, one yachtie wrote: 'Negotiating the reefs and poor buoyage. It was overcast most of the time and while you can't do anything about that, being overcast meant it was not easy navigating. An up-to-date pilot would make a good difference.'

'Entering reef passages, for example on Makogai, as the leading marks have gone. Hearing of other yachts being destroyed on reefs,' said another.

Another yachtie was critical as well saying that 'navigating in Fiji waters was a distinct challenge.

'The mere idea of forcing a yacht to navigate through Fiji's enclosed reef-strewn waters at night is asking for disaster.'

However, there were also some who said the inaccuracies were rumoured and that they did not have problems.

But this has not stopped the MSAF from working to address the issue with chief executive Neil Slack revealing that he was aware of the complaints made by yachties and work was being done to digitally log and record all reefs and hazards in Fiji waters to make cruising easier for yachties.

'This is all a part of the work the authority is doing. I have been interviewed many times and we've come to the media on many occasions. We are taking a paper-based system to an online system,' Mr Slack said.

'We're going to take a vessel registration survey, accident and incident from paper to online and we are focusing the same attention on charting as well.'

He said he could not comment on why the exercise was not done earlier.

'To pass comment on my predecessors and why they did do something or didn't, I can't comment on that.'

With all the work being done to improve the services in Fiji to attract more yachts, Mr Philp said there was another issue to be addressed and this was the negative stigma attached to yachts visiting Fiji waters.

Mr Philp said the rumours of international yachts engaging in illegal activities were not reflective of the intentions of the majority of yachts visiting Fiji.

'There is a lot of misinformation out there. Some are saying the yachts are responsible for people smuggling or smuggling weapons and it's crazy,' Mr Philp said.

'Most of these people (yachties) are hard workers who have worked most their lives and have sold their houses to buy a yacht to cruise.'

He explained that many of the yachts simply wanted to cruise Fiji waters and enjoy the beauty the country had to offer and were also a major contributor to the tourism in the country.

According to the Fiji Marine Industry Survey conducted by the association, visiting yachts to Fiji spend $182 per day with figures taken over the last three years showing that yachting tourism produces $F33million in direct spending for the Fiji economy annually.

Mr Philp explained that this meant villagers in cruising areas such as the Yasawa and Lau groups could be on the receiving end of more tourism dollars.

'As you've seen from the economic survey, yachts spend an average of $182 per day and while a majority of this is spent at supermarkets or getting a new paint job or buying a new motor, there are other ways that they could benefit.

'These yachts could buy fresh fruit and other produce from the villagers which would give them a source of income.'


by Tevita Vuibau/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111620

8:55 PM Fri 5 Jul 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World





















Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,






2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan








Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,


SAP 505 World Championship - Holt and Woelfel on top
2014 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship - Day 2
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; MC38s Lindeman Island Race VIDEO
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Ready to rock
IFDS Worlds - Wind delays, but racing continues in Halifax
IFDS World Championships - Day 2 images by Jude Robertson
MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3   
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature   
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3   
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.   
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT