Project ‘unoriginal’

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An artist’s impression of the proposed $600 million Tian Lun integrated hotel-tourism project in Nasese. The project has generated strong resistance in some quarters with a church minister calling on Government to revoke the company’s lease for the 36 hectares of mangrove forest and land in Nasese. Picture: SUPPLIED

Unoriginal, unauthentic, not forward looking and does not emulate the Fijian brand or Fijian philosophy of life in any way.

This was how Dr Apisalome Movono, senior lecturer in Development Studies at Massey University, New Zealand described the proposed $600 million Tian Lun integrated hotel-tourism project in Nasese.

“It is an extension of the tourism monoculture that has consumed much of the world, and which has degraded and permanently altered many a foreshore.

“We have seen this before in many parts of the world,” Dr Movono said.

“Climate change and future uncertainties demand that we be innovative in the choice of the type of tourism we develop.

“We need to encourage forms of tourism development that have the potential to regenerate local ecosystems, encourage local industries, stimulate opportunities for Suva residents and be a source of pride and identity for Suva and source of economic sustenance for the people of Fiji.

“More importantly, we must as a country decide what type of tourism is developed in our backyard and it must be on our own terms, not cut and paste from elsewhere.

“Gone are the days when wealthy developers are allowed to rape the environment and take advantage of locals buy asserting their brand of neocolonialism through tourism,” Dr Movono said.

“The time to development tourism as a force of positive change is upon us and a big part of this is the need to build resilient forms of tourism that can support the aspirations of its people and sustainable development of our economy.”

The Tian Lun project proposes to develop more than 36 hectares of land and mangrove forest with the construction of 11 buildings, some at a height of 28 storeys.

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