Holidays are a great way to refresh, relax and get away from it all. But, it is important that you don’t take your destination of choice for granted. It is important to enjoy your holiday but also, respect your destination by positively contributing to the local community and reducing your impact on the natural environment.
Improving and growing sustainable practices is important to destinations such as Fiji, where many of the local operators do their part to support the local communities and many invite you to take part. Let's have a look at some of our best rated sustainable tourist organisations and tours in the beautiful island of Fiji. By engaging with these projects you can make your trip not just fun for you and your family, but also benefit the local community and environment
1. Outrigger's community project
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is a positive powerhouse of community tourism, where guests help to fund and can also take part in a project designed to help the local community. What started as the brainchild of General Manager Peter Hopgood in 2015 has resulted in multiple success stories and an unforgettably meaningful experience for scores of guests.
Since its inception Outrigger's community tourism has created:
- A new meeting bure (traditional hall) for the community.
- A rebuilt Conua kindergarten, including several new classrooms.
- A new maternity ward for local Sigatoka District Hospital.
- Upgrades for the women's ward, outpatients area, kitchen, new helipad facility, and improvements to the operating theatre for the Sigatoka District Hospital.
To name just a few.
You can book to stay at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort on their website and find out which community tourism projects you and your family can get involved in.
2. Jean Michael Cousteau mangrove tour
Jean Michael Cousteau Resort in Fiji offers not just an unparalleled luxury hotel experience, it's also a proudly eco-friendly resort. Its operations and management are guided first and foremost by consideration for the natural environment, and it seeks to offer guests experiences and opportunities to support local wildlife.
One such must do experience is the resort's eco-tour which takes you along the majestic mangrove forests of the Fijian shoreline. Accompanied by local marine biologist Johnny Sigh you can discover the secrets of this unique coastal ecosystem and even plant your own mangrove seedling.
Tour the stunning local mangrove forests on Fiji's shoreline.
3. Six Senses is all about sustainability
At the Six Senses resort, you can be confident that every effort is being taken to offset your carbon footprint. With one of the largest off-grid solar installations in the Southern Hemisphere (run by Tesla battery) conserving energy is a high priority.
The resort also collects rainwater, uses a worm based bio-friendly septic tank system, has a herb, fruit and veg garden to self-sustain food requirements and has its own reverse osmosis plant and water refinery to create high-quality drinking water without the need for plastic bottles.
There's really nothing more you could need to make your holiday as environmentally friendly as possible!
At Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa you can get involved with the acclaimed Reef Care Project, which aims to revive the beautiful coral life of the Fijian islands.
4. Shangri-La's Fijian has the coral planting program
At Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa you can get involved with the acclaimed Reef Care Project, which aims to revive the beautiful coral life of the Fijian islands. By visiting the Shangri-La's Marine Education Centre, which is open to both guests and students, you can directly partake in conservation efforts while learning about the fragile marine systems you're helping to rebuild.
Eco-friendly travel tips to reduce your environmental impact on holiday
In more recent times there has been a greater call for travellers to think about the way they travel. The urgent need to travel responsibly and sustainably is now a call to action rather than an afterthought, especially in emerging destinations.
But what is responsible, sustainable travel? Well, it is more than just reducing your footprint by employing environmentally friendly practices whilst on holiday, it is also about protecting the cultural and natural heritage of a destination and providing tangible social and economic benefits for the local communities.
When visiting places like Fiji a destination loved by travellers worldwide, known for its outstanding natural beauty and fascinating local culture. Without sustainable practices, it is a nation that could over time suffer greatly from over tourism. Tourism is one of the greatest economic benefits for this island nation and to make sure it is preserved and enjoyed now and well into the future we need to take the time to consider as a visitor our impact on the social, cultural, economic an natural environments and how we are going to protect these vital aspects of Fiji for holidays makers and locals alike.
Luckily, there are plenty of resorts and businesses doing their part to support Fiji through sustainable practices, but what are some of the things you can do on your next trip to the islands? Here are our top tips for a responsible traveller.
Do your research
While you might be thinking that a list of eco-friendly travel tips will affect the things you can do on your trip to Fiji, the fact of the matter is there's no reason you can't see everything you want to without leaving a negative mark on the environment.
The key is to make sure that the resorts you stay at and the day-trip providers you book with are doing their part. This requires a bit of research, but you'd be surprised how many wonderful options there are! If you're ever in doubt, the Hoot Holidays team is here to offer you advice and support.
Minimise your waste
While ensuring you visit eco-friendly travel destinations is a great way to minimise your impact on Fiji, it's also important to take personal responsibility and never leave any waste. An issue that you might come across is not being near a bin to dispose of your rubbish after a day exploring the jungle or relaxing on the beach, but that's not an excuse!
To make sure you're not stuck in a situation where you'll have to leave litter behind, always take a recyclable bag with you. That way, you'll be able to take any rubbish back to the hotel, and can even stop to pick up any other litter that you might find along the way! Similarly, consider what sort of carbon footprint you're leaving in regards to how you travel. It might be easier to get a taxi everywhere you need to go, but look into greener options such as sharing a mini-van with other travellers.
Consider local communities
While the environmental impact is the chief concern of responsible tourism, it's also important to consider what sort of effect your trip might have on the local population. Firstly, you should make sure you understand the traditions and customs of the people you'll be meeting - particularly if you plan on visiting a village. That way, you'll be able to better appreciate the culture, and won't accidentally cause any disrespect.
It's also a good idea to shop locally when you can, as this provides a very real way for you to contribute to the overall economy, rather than spending all of your time and money in areas where everyday Fijians won't see the benefits.