Fiji resort owners could be on the hook for up to $1 billion in fines for breaching regulations that ban illegal construction on national parks.
A report by the International Council of Tourism, which represents some of Fiji’s largest resort owners, says construction at the five-star Shangri-La resort on the island of Vanuatu and at other resorts is illegal.
The report says there are no signs the resort has been rezoned, but the owners could still face penalties.
A spokesman for the International Civil Aviation Organization said in a statement that the organization had “not received any information about any changes in the enforcement mechanism of this law.”
The resort was built in 2015 on land owned by the Vanuatans, who are an ethnic group who live in the Vanatu Islands, which lie within Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“The resort is subject to the strict construction regulations, which stipulate that the construction of any structure or part of a structure must be within the territory of the resort,” the ICTO said in its statement.
Fiji has issued an official warning about construction, but has not enforced the ban in real life.
The resort is not allowed to build on national park land, and the islanders have to pay a fee to use the area.