Remembering Richard Evanson - Turtle Fiji


21 June 1935 - 05 June 2021

Richard devoted his life to creating one of the world’s leading eco-resorts and was passionately committed to enriching the lives of his guests through building a team who feel proud to belong, proactive partnerships with local communities, and embracing sustainability and innovation.

We are proud of the great work and impact Richard had in shaping the tourism industry in Fiji to what it is today. It all started in 1972 when the warmth, loving and caring nature of the Fijian people captured his heart, resulting in him extending his initial four day stay to a lifetime.

Richard ensured that any development on Turtle Island followed environmental best practices, and used regular environmental audits to measure his progress. He had an unwavering commitment to supporting and developing the opportunities for the local villages in our community. With health clinics, education initiatives and job creation projects, he advanced the economic and social outcomes for generations of Yasawan villagers.

Having fallen in love with the Fijian way of life, he had a concern to ensure that the traditions and culture of the Yasawas was not influenced adversely by tourism. Rather, his vision was to provide an authentic Fijian experience to his guests, choosing to make his model of tourism an opportunity to bring about a sense of pride in one’s own heritage and culture, and how it can enrich the lives of others.

Thousands of our Turtle Island family and friends from all over the world have shared their memories and feelings about Richard. From guests of Turtle Island to personal friends and colleagues, the one thing that ties them together is how they’ve been touched by his passion and the gift he has left behind – the gift of community, the gift of Turtle Island, and the gift of an amazing extended family.

We welcome you to read some of these messages below and invite you to share your own stories here