The world’s first steamboat resort has closed, leaving locals scrambling to find another place to go.
The Rupan Rupa Rupahatua steamboat, a two-star resort located in the heart of Fiji, was the only one of its kind in the world when it opened in 2007.
“This is the only steamboat site in Fiji,” Mr Vukovic said.
“People are desperate to go on these boats, because they’re so cheap and they have great views of the mountains.”
The resort was so popular that it was sold to a private group for $7.3 million, making it the world’s most expensive steamboat property.
“There are some places in the country that have steamboats that are as much as $3 million.
We’ve been lucky in Fiji, it’s not been as big a success,” Mr Rupana said.
The resort’s opening caused a backlash, with many people angry that their local communities were not able to access the resort and take advantage of the great views.
“It’s so expensive, and there’s so much competition for it,” Mr Laxman said.
But Mr Vucic said the steamboat industry had survived the downturn.
“I think what happened is it was very difficult for people in Fiji to get their foot in the door, and when you’ve got a huge tourist industry like Fiji, you have to keep the pressure up,” he said.
Despite the downturn, Mr Rupsana said he was still optimistic about the future.
“In 10 years, there will be so many steamboats on the water,” he told the ABC.
“We’ll be able to run a ferry service to some of the bigger islands.”
Topics:tourism,fiji,tourist,fauna,fijis-canyoles-2473,futures—region,freetown-2474,falkland-4217Contact Matthew GaudreauMore stories from New South Wales