Fiji on Wednesday signed a $200 million agreement with the World Bank to develop the tourism potential of Vanua Levu, the country’s second-largest island.
The deal was signed by Fijian Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad and World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Manuela Ferro, Xinhua news agency reported.
Prasad, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Fiji Tourism Development Program for Vanua Levu will not only bolster tourism, but lead to the improvement of drainage, sewage and transport infrastructure generally.
He added that the project will focus on overcoming barriers and promote sustainable tourism, while emphasising the need for resilient infrastructure, capacity enhancement and effective project management.
Ferro said the World Bank-funded program brings together several aspects of development, including economic growth, job creation and its potential to stimulate the broader economy.
According to the World Bank, the project is expected to benefit at least 60,000 Fijians through the creation of new jobs and tourism infrastructure investment.
The program, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in June this year, is the first of three projects planned over 10 years to help Fiji deliver its vision for more sustainable, inclusive and resilient tourism across the country.