Ecotourism exploratory visit was conducted on Maiana Island from 29th October to 10th November 2017. This activity was part of the Least Developing country Fund project or LDCF project funded by Global Environ-ment Facility (GEF), organized by UNDP and implemented by Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricul-tural development (MELAD).
Kiribati National Tourism Office (KNTO) under the Ministry of Information Communications, Transport and Tourism Development (MICTTD) is one of the stakeholders of LDCF project that also came up with activities that will contribute to ecotourism development on pilot islands including Ma-iana in order to achieve project’s objective of enhancing food security in the context of climate change as well as to support the Government’s vision or KV20 to develop Kiribati as a world class ecotourism destination in the region.
Exploratory visit in Maiana was the first stage in Ecotourism development for this island that includes surveys and researches, consultations and ecotourism SWOT analysis.
It was found that Maiana Island have potentials for ecotourism development mostly found at Tebikerai islet (see map). The islet have white beaches, clean lagoon, located close to the airport which is about 10 mins by car or boat, close to outer reef snorkeling and diving grounds, surrounded by mangroves to develop mangrove kayaking during high tides as one of the activities for visitors,
Tebikerai islet was also the site for spawning and aggregation of bonefish which means Tebikerai have potential for bone fishing, and people have different cultural activities that can be provided to the visitors.
Maiana rich in shrines and heritage sites, therefore, this can be developed and promoted as one of the tour activities for Maiana.
(Source: Te Kaongora The Official E-Newsletter Of The Kiribati National Tourism Office October to November 2017)