Fiji is the product of volcanic mountains and warm tropical waters. Its varied coral reefs today draw tourists from around the world but were the nightmare of European mariners until well into the 19th century. As a result, Fijians have retained their land and often much of the noncommercial, sharing attitude of people who live in vast extended families with direct access to natural resources. When it came, European involvement and cession to Britain were marked by the conversion to Christianity, the cessation of brutal tribal warfare and cannibalism, and the immigration of a large number of Indians, who now represent nearly half of the population, as well as smaller numbers of Europeans and Asians. Today, Fiji is a land of tropical rainforests, coconut plantations, fine beaches, and fire-cleared hills. For the casual tourist, it is blessedly free of evils such as malaria, landmines, or terrorism that attend many similarly lovely places in the world.
The 2006 coup and later political events caused a reduction in tourism. The Fiji tourism industry has responded by lowering prices and increasing the promotion of resort areas that are distant from the politics of the capital Suva.