Friday, August 22, 2008

Landowners to benefit from shareholding

Landowners to benefit from shareholding - Friday, August 22, 2008

LANDOWNERS of the biggest hotel development project in the country are set to rake in the benefits through shares in the five-star resort and employment.
The much touted $243million Natadola Intercontinental Beach Resort is set to be completed next month and project chairman, Felix Anthony said negotiations were underway to secure some of the best deals for the landowners.
Even before it has opened, the venture is already employing 1000 workers at Natadola, villagers making up a majority of them.
"I have authorised a comprehensive study of loss of fishing rights and environmental impact of this project. I am now engaged in negotiations with the landowners to convert the compensation money into shares in Natadola Resort for the long term benefit and substantial returns to the landowners," Mr Anthony told a tourism forum in Nadi today.
"Through shareholding the landowners will have a sense of ownership, commitment and belonging to this project."
He said one of the biggest challenges facing investors was the failure to keep landowners informed about developments on their land.
"We had worked hard to win the goodwill and support of the landowners. We are committed to the interests of our landowners and we give utmost priority to ensure that landowners benefit commercially out of this project," Mr Anthony said.
"We have developed a spirit of excellent and productive partnership."
Currently, the majority of the villagers are employed either in the hotel Site, the Golf Course and the Nursery.
There is also a village committee in place to look at all the employment and recruitment issues at village level.
The hotel has around 799 workers and 198 subcontractors on the resort site. The golf and nursery has a further 250.

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