Falling in love with Fiji

ON a recent visit to Fiji, Mark Mitchell fell in love with the untouched beauty of the place.

From there, everything seemed to fall into place.

Since his trip in October last year, Mark has taken voluntary redundancy from the Grafton Base Hospital and the North Coast Area Health Service and started an eco-tourism business to give tourists the opportunity to experience the 'real' Fiji.

“After almost 30 years in health, I could see it being unstable in the future so when the opportunity came up for a voluntary redundancy, I put my hand up,” Mark said.

“I was taken on a tour of the real Fiji and absolutely fell in love with a little village about one hour north of Savusavu, and that has since become what I want to do.”

While it may seem like a significant career change to move from hospital work to starting a tourism business, Mark said the roles were actually very similar.

“With health I was working on community relationships and I am doing pretty much the same thing in Fiji,” he said.

“I am trying to help the community tap into the tourism industry to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

In Mark's 'real' Fiji experience, tourists will have the opportunity to live for three days in a village of 25 families, catch their dinner, float down the river on a bamboo raft and embrace life away from the tourist traps.

Mark is hoping to get his business up and running by December this year. In the meantime, however, inquiries can be made to undiscoveredfiji@gmail.com.

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