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Savusavu – A Little Place big in the Sailing World
Although the average person has never heard of a place called Savusavu, it is better known in the well-travelled sailing community, and with good reason. This little place is a gem of a town located on the southern side of the Vanua Levu Island and an important part of sailing around the South Pacific.
Fiji’s best kept secret
Savusavu is a lush tropical paradise with year round great weather and a several resorts frequented by a steady stream of tourists. It is also a trading centre for sandalwood, edible sea cucumbers and copra – which is the part of a coconut that coconut oil is extracted from. In addition to all these reasonably bustling industries, the town has an even more prominent cash cow: sailing. Savusavu is the only port through which sailors can enter Vanua Levu, and the little town makes a lot of money because of this.
How does US$3 million a year sound?
Sounds great and yes, the sailing industry generates approximately US$3 million in revenue annually to Savusavu. The biggest advocate for yachting in town is called Curly Carswell. According to Curly tourism derived from sailing brings in a good income for the entire town. Curly mentioned that it benefits a variety of local businesses including hardware shops, market merchants and street traders.
Keeping the momentum
Curly Carswell hopes that working together with the rest of Savusavu will ensure that the visiting yachtspeople continue to have positive experiences with the town. Naturally they hope to increase the number of yachts that visit, but according to Curly, the quality of visits is a priority. Together, the town council and the local business owners plan to broaden Savusavu’s appeal to tourists by expanding the service offering when it comes to sailing, while still maintaining the town’s unique appeal. Local business owner Liz Di Fiore said: ‘Savusavu still has that small town charm that visitors like, that makes them feel like they’ve experienced life here’.