island_image4.jpgThere are 333 islands and 522 smaller islets making up the archipelago, approximately 106 are permanently inhabited.The largest island Viti Levu, covers about 57% of the nation’s land area and has the two largest metropolitan areas (the capital Suva, and Lautoka). It also hosts and most of the other major towns, ie, Ba, Nasinu, and Nadi (the site of the international airport), and contains some 69% of the population. The second largest island, Vanua Levu, is 64 km to the north of Viti Levu, covers just over 30% of the land area and is home to some 15% of the population. The two main towns are Labasa and Savusavu.

Other islands and island groups make up only 2.5 % of the land area. These include Taveuni and Kadavu (the third and fourth largest islands respectively), the Mamanuca Group (just off Nadi), and Yasawa Group (north of the Mamanucas), the Lomaiviti Group (located geographically in the center of the archipelago), and the distant Lau Group which is seldom visited by tourists. The only major town on any of the smaller islands is Fiji’s former capital Levuka, located on the island of Ovalau.


Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports, remittances from Fijians working abroad, and a growing tourist industry - with 400,000 to 500,000 tourists annually - are the major sources of foreign exchange. Fiji's sugar has special access to European Union markets and sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity.Agriculture accounts for 18 % of gross domestic product (GDP), although it employs some 70 % of the workforce. Sugar exports and a growing tourist industry are the major sources of foreign exchange. Sugar cane processing makes up one-third of industrial activity; coconuts, ginger, and copra are also significant. In recent years, growth in Fiji has been largely driven by a strong tourism industry. Tourism has expanded since the early 1980s and is the leading economic activity. Tourist arrivals grew by 16.3% in 2010. About 45% of Fiji's visitors come from Australia, with large contingents also coming from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Pacific Islands.

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