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Boat Safari Guide - Compare Tanzania with The South Pacific Islands

These Ratings have been compiled from a Survey of Visitors to The Tanzanian Islands who have previously experienced a holiday in the South Pacific.  
Category Tanzanian Islands South Pacific
Easy access to Flights
Unspoiled by tourism
Beautiful ports
Amenities and Restaurants
Ancient sites
Secluded anchorages
Spectacular scenery
Easy sailing conditions
Fishing Opportunities
Dive Sites
Fertile and lush vegetation
South Pacific Sailing Areas

Cook Islands, Micronesia (Palau), French Polynesia (Moorea, Bora Bora, Tahiti), Polynesia (Tonga), Samoa (Upolu and Savai'i), New Caledonia, Melanasia (Vanuatu, Solomon Islands) and Fiji (Viti Levu, Yasawa group). North Pacific Hawaii (Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Ohau).

Articles - The Pacific Economy  

Turning a buck is no easy task for Pacific Island nations - whether they be a relative giant like Papua New Guinea, with 4 million people and rich forests and mineral resources, or a micro-state like Tuvalu, with 9 low lying atolls and just 10,000 people.

Huge distances, poor and expensive transport and lack of a business culture all conspire against economic miracles. In some countries, coups, crime and corruption have sapped their nation's economic vitality.

All the Island nations other than Nauru, are dependent on foreign aid and import more than they export. But that has not prevented some amazing success stories and some surprising innovations.

Thinking laterally
In the past six years, Samoa has revolutionized its economy, consistently posting growth that many a developed nation would be proud of. It now boasts a cadre of successful indigenous business people working in finance, tourism or other service industries or exporting products such as fish, coconut cream and even chocolate.

Tiny atoll nations such as the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Cook Islands and Tuvalu face particular problems. Their land area is small, they are vulnerable to drought and have few resources other than sand, coconuts and fish.

Tuvalu has used lateral thinking to make a living. Prior to independence, Tuvalu's leaders were determined to aim for economic self-reliance no matter how unlikely or difficult that may have seemed.

So they set up a Trust Fund and asked donor nations, such as Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, to make a contribution. They invested their funds just a month before the 1987 stock market crash and, like other investors, saw their new found wealth slashed to ribbons.

Since then, however, shrewd investment polices have seen the fund make a comeback. So much so, that it has now doubled its original value to more than AUD$50 million and is able to make a substantial annual contribution to government revenue.

Until recently, Tuvalu's biggest foreign exchange earner has been beautifully designed postage stamps featuring colorful flora and fauna. Now, with stamp collecting something of a dying hobby, Tuvalu has joined the information age selling its '.tv' internet suffix to international television networks.

In just 18 months, receipts have been so healthy that the internet is now Tuvalu's most lucrative industry.

Crucial economic issues
While many pacific island nations run tax havens, and some offer flags of convenience to shipping companies, success with these sorts of initiatives are the exception rather than the rule.

The crucial economic issues are how to break out of the cycle of high aid and low economic growth, how to share the benefits of growth and how to ensure development does not come at the expense of the region's environment.

Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, in particular, have seen logging that has amounted to nothing short of the rape and pillage of their national heritage and has, all too often, come hand in hand with corruption. Local officials and landowners have discovered, too late, that clear felling leaves them not only without their forests but without even the subsistence living on which they have relied for thousands of years.

Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa, the only other countries with significant forests, have managed to put their logging industries onto a more sustainable footing. Well over half of Fiji's timber comes from plantations and that country is also home to the world's largest mahogany plantation - a resource that has become controversial as a result of the link between coup leader, George Speight, and attempts to privatise it.

For Papua New Guinea, mining is an economic lifeline and has also seen the development of some very successful locally-controlled and landowner companies but it, too, is not without examples of catastrophic environmental damage, as can be seen at the now infamous Ok Tedi mine. While environmental standards at newer mines are much better, environmental risk is ever present.

In the future, the Pacific will face more pressure on its environment - pressure that will be great enough to threaten its economic progress.

Already coastal fisheries are seriously depleted, lagoons polluted and coral reefs suffering bleaching brought on by heat stress. With human populations growing and global warming predicted to gather pace, environmental disasters are likely to become more frequent.

The poverty challenge
The other challenge, for the region is to tackle poverty. At the moment, the Pacific does not suffer the catastrophic poverty seen in other parts of the developing world. That is because it is still possible, even for city dwellers, to grow their own vegetables, raise animals, such as chickens, or catch fish - allowing at least some level of subsistence affluence.

Nevertheless, there are many people, including a large variety of low paid, full-time workers, whose income is below the poverty line. Their children will find it very difficult to get the education they need to be a part of the information age.

In the next twenty years, the number of people living in towns and cities is expected to grow dramatically and problems with urban crime, ethnic violence and squatter settlements could get much worse if jobs are not found for city dwellers.

Many economists see the way forward in resource industries such as fishing and mining. Already, more than half the world's tuna is caught in the region and there is room for much more participation by Pacific Islanders in an industry that has, until now, been dominated by companies based in Japan, Korea, the United States, Taiwan and Europe.

Mining, including in new areas such as mining manganese, copper and silver nodules from the ocean floor, has the potential to create jobs at all levels from labouring through to management and professional roles in marine science and international law.

Tourism is another industry that could provide a wide range of jobs and in which there are some successful role models. Fiji, in particular, has seen steady and sustained growth in its tourism industry, growth that unfortunately, has been threatened by the political instability there, since the May 19 coup.

Article from ABC Radio Australia Online - click here for more


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