Makogai, a potential tourism hotspot

February 2, 2024 6:17 am

Makogai Island

The Island of Makogai in the Lomaiviti Group, which was once the only Leprosarium in the Pacific in late 1911, has been receiving local cruise ships in the past few years.

However, the island does not have proper public amenities to facilitate the visiting guests.

There is also no official approval yet to start building these amenities.

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Director of Heritage Sipiriano Nemani says that the Island has a lot of potential as a tourism destination.

However, he says there is a need for proper interpretation since the whole background from the leper colony is not well labeled, and there should be stories for guests to learn about the island.

“But a lot of work needs to be done to develop the interpretation of the site, to look at the design of the site, and also to put in amenities so that visitors, when they travel there, will be able to access these amenities to relieve themselves, or even put food outlets.”

Following Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, there was a thorough clean-up done on the island to identify the remaining buildings from the leper colony, including the 1,500 graveyards, but this currently remains a work in progress.