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FIJI VILLAGE TO PROMOTE DOLPHIN-WATCHING Activity seen as tourist attraction

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 19, 2010) - The Fiji government is committed to the dolphin watching project in Rakiraki labeling it as an interesting venture between the villagers of Drauni-ivi and the Kader Buses Limited.

[PIR editor’s note: Rakiraki has a population of approximately 32,000 residents. It is a district in Fiji’s Ra province on the northern coast of Viti Levu.]

Tourism Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told FijiLive this project demonstrates that private sector partnering up with the villagers can result in very good synergy between all stakeholders.

"Rakiraki is special because there is no such tourist attraction that is available around it and indeed dolphin watching is not that big an ancillary service provided in Fiji," he said.

The project has enormous potential because it creates other ancillary services like the tourists who come to watch the dolphins can also pay a visit to the village who can sell them handicrafts, sulus with handprints and they tell them stories and legends.

"This way they get to know more about Fiji and its history other than just a resort based destination," he said.

"From an economic perspective, that means they spend their dollar to move down to the grassroots levels and that is what we are encouraging," he said.

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