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Welcome to Pacific Palm Marina Resort Fiji

Fiji tourism got its start in the 1950s when piston engine seaplanes flying the Sydney-Honolulu leg stopped in Nadi to refuel. The first hotel near Nadi Airport was a World War II Quonset hut. The number of visitors was small but there was recognition that Fiji was made for tourism. It wasn't long before outsiders recognized the potential. Paddy Doyle, builder of the Fijian Hotel, now the Fijian Shangri-La, arrived in Fiji just ahead of the jet age. He was responsible for the extension of the main runway to accommodate jet aircraft. Wealthy outsiders began to invest in the country. In the ensuing years, there were several other talented and prosperous individuals who fell in love with Fiji.

In 1965, New Westminster-born actor, Raymond Burr of Perry Mason and Ironsides fame, purchased from the Henning’s family, the island of Naitauba a 3,500 acre copra plantation in the northern Lau Group about eighty kilometres due east of the southern tip of Taveuni. Burr improved living conditions on his island and enabled 12 young people from Naitauba to graduate from hotel school in Los Angeles. Burr also began an orchid exporting business near Nadi Airport, which helped put Fiji on the map and bring in badly needed foreign exchange.

In the mid 1960s, Peter Munk, now chairman of Barrick Gold, purchased a large acreage about thirty miles west of Suva and started a large Florida style residential-resort complex where you can sail your boat up to your back door. Although only semi-successful, Pacific Harbour did provide jobs and drew new interest to the Islands. In 1968, the Fijian Hotel, now a member of the Shangri-la chain, opened with 85 rooms and expanded continuously to its present total of 436.

In 1972, Malcolm Forbes, then publisher of Forbes Magazine, purchased Laucala, a 3,000 acre island off the northern tip of Taveuni and did a magnificent job of improving the housing and working conditions of the Fijian population.
At about the same time, the inventor of the fiberglass injection moulding process, Jay Johnston, purchased Kaibu, not far from Naitauba. He has fashioned a world-class ultra luxury resort, thereby giving employment to the islanders enabling them to work on their home island rather than having to join the ranks of the unemployed on Viti Levu.

Other notables include John MacIntire, one of the world's foremost land planning engineers, who bought a 3,800 plantation on Taveuni and started what has become Taveuni Estates, a residential community, which is unique among all the islands of the Pacific.

In 1972,when Fiji's first comprehensive tourism plan was being drafted, there was speculation that the first five year goal of 50,000 annual visitors was a bit far fetched. For those who contributed to the plan, it seemed like an impossible goal although they were confident that given enough time the total would be easily surpassed. However, we badly under estimated the potential. In 2004 Bill Gavoka of the Fiji Visitors Bureau indicated that the total visitor count for 2004 was expected to exceed 470,000 (Source: Fiji Times 23/07/2004).

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