Vanua Levu is a rising star in development and investment

May 7, 2024 | Blog, News

Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest and second most populous island (about 135,000), is experiencing significant economic and tourism developments, including a major $200 million World Bank-funded project. This initiative aims to boost tourism by enhancing infrastructure like airports and roads, improving service accessibility and climate resilience, and establishing over 30 new locally-managed marine areas as part of a decade-long plan.

The island is seeing several construction projects, including new shopping malls, a movie theatre, hotels, and commercial facilities aimed at enhancing its tourism and retail sectors. This includes significant developments like the Nawi Island marina and the expansion of the Grand Eastern Hotel, which are expected to attract further investments and visitors to the island. These initiatives are part of a broader strategy to utilise the island’s unique environmental and cultural assets to draw both international and domestic tourists, thereby stimulating local economic growth and job creation.

Traditionally known for its lush landscapes and rich natural resources, Vanua Levu has been the backbone of raw material supply to its more developed neighbour, Viti Levu, some 120km to its southwest as the crow flies. It is the largest supplier of agricultural products, fisheries, and timber—sectors that form the cornerstone of Fiji’s national economy.

It’s not just these traditional sectors that are experiencing growth and increased interest from both domestic and overseas investors. The island’s tourism industry is also on the rise, with many operators beginning to explore its unique natural features and distinct offerings that set it apart from other destinations.

Noting an increasing confidence among investors prompted by the positive developments occurring on the island, Northern Division Commissioner Usaia Rainima was recently quoted in the Fiji Times as saying, “There is a lot of confidence built up already as they hear about what is happening here right now. The island is rich in resources both on land and sea, which provides immense potential for sustainable growth.”

Often overshadowed by its larger sister island, Vanua Levu is a scenic gem in the Fiji archipelago characterised by its lush landscapes and tranquil environment. Labasa, the largest town serves as the commercial and economic hub of the island. The town is known for its sugar cane industry. Savusavu, on the other hand, is known as the ‘hidden paradise’ of Fiji.

This picturesque town is famous for its hot springs and beautiful bays that are popular with yachters and divers. Savusavu is also becoming a hotspot for expatriates and tourists seeking a serene lifestyle, thanks to its stunning vistas and laid-back atmosphere. The town’s waterfront area is a charming spot where visitors can enjoy local cuisine and crafts.