Hey I wondered what happened to this thread.
Here is the big kicker for me. After I read this thread for the first time back however many months ago when it came out, I came this (...) close to joining after just a few weeks of readin through the site and pondering on it, even got to the point where I had credit card in-hand. But in the end it all read BIG SCAM to me.
Lets pretend that by some chance that they do get 5000 people to sign up for the island. Lets just pretend that 2500 of these people are 3 year members. that means they have a total of 3 weeks that they can stay on the island. remebering that, according to the website, there can only be 100 memebers on the island at any given time, lets do the math and check availabilities. so there are 52 weeks in a year, and lets say that all 2500 of these members book their 3 weeks in the firt year of there memebership. if you take 365 days in a year and multiply it by a 100(number of people that can be on the island on any given day) that gives you 36,500 available spots in one year. now take the 2500 members and multiply that by 21 days and that gives you 52,500. 52,500 is the number of available spots that there would have to be in order for all these memebers to stay on the island in their first year, remembering that one year only has 36,500 available spots, now lets say that the other 2500 members are all one year memebers that only have 7 days to stay on the island and in this first year to do it in. there would be no room for ANY of them if just 1750 of the 3 year memebers had already booked their weeks in their first year.
You can play around with these numbers a lot and get different answers but this is just one scenario, and you can also say "oh what are the odds that that many 3 year memebers would stay on the island during their first year", but screw "the odds"!, anything is capable in this world. It just would not work, especially if the island is only going to have room for those 100 people every night on the island.
Im no math wiz, and let me know if my math is all jacked up and it CAN actually really work, but I just would not trust an internet website that much that cant even do their math right.
sounds like another effort for a tv jungle / love island show coming on again...I hate those shows!!!!
[ Edit: Edited at Jul 15, 2006 1:51 PM by jen23 ]
My real concern is just the amount of money these guys are sitting on. Let's say they've collected 180 000 roughly by now and 90 000 is needed to lease the island for three years as they indicate. That leaves 90 000 right now in the bank. Both founders have travelled down there as well as Australia, and I'm guessing this money is paying for all of that, so deduct at least 10 000 from that. It's a nice looking site, there goes another 5000 to 10 000. They have a pr person working for them, at least another 10 000 spent. Have the founders been working for the 'company' the entire time and is this their only 'job'. If so, they would almost certainly be taking out another 10 000 a month each... (x 6 months). That's a total of roughly 90 000, leaving the grand total of 0 dollars for food, accommodation, building etc. etc. Seeing as there are NO guarantees anywhere on what percentage of the member fees are actually going to be allocated to the island and building and food there, it's not unlikely that there never will be any money for that. Running a business takes time and money and you need to be making more than it costs to make it sustainable. Personally, I just don't see how that could ever be the case right now! If they get another 4000 members they'll get in enough to actually do a lot of the building etc. but what happens if they never get those members?! And if they do, there's so insanely much cash floating around; what's the percentage that will be used for members services? As long as they don't give any guarantees on this percentage, you have to consider it a write off when signing up and paying. You can't refund money that's already been spent, and the owners aren't liable because it's set up as a Ltd. company in the UK (which only requires a tiny amount in shareholders capital by the way)....
I can't believe companies like STA travel would be stupid enough to partner with set ups like this without some further guarantees, but you never know....
Good follow up article too Valour.
Call me a cynic, but it just sounds like a backpackers time-share scheme to me... the only difference between this and something in Spain being that the fee for signing up goes towards actually building the resort. The rest (carbon neutral, local projects, environmentally friendly etc) all sounds very nice, but if money gets tight, I wonder what's going to give first...
I was on vorovoro on the weekend and know that the mali gang I talked to are happy with the progress also Ben was on the island. Its seems legally all the things that are needed to be completed in fiji have been done.
Ulai the mali representative is one of the best land lawyers in fiji and has good connections at NLTB and with the current government. So I cant see any problems this project will face that alot of other tourism projects here face.
And now the mali gang have me helping the cause in which I started with a response to the jem article at http://baleta.blogspot.com/2006/07/is-tribewantedcom-scam-response-to.html
I personally believe vorovoro experience will be a good experience if your expectations are not to be sitting by the beach expecting to be waited on by hotel workers.
[ Edit: Edited at Jul 25, 2006 10:04 PM by rats ]
The whole thing looks very suspicious . . .
The main support comes from a first time poster . . .
yes I am a first time poster, what I am doing is going through all tribewanted scam articles and putting a perspectice from the fijians on the ground. The reason is that this project is an important project for our area so I want to see it succeed. The last thing I would to see is vorovoro be part of scam.
Currently the debates participants have been owners, tribemembers, potential tribemembers and detractors. So i thought a Fiji perspective might add value to the debate. Especially one that has just come back from the island in question.
Note, I have never met or corresponded with any of the owners and tribesmembers even though I have seen ben on the island. I have though read part of the forums in tribeswanted. I only started being interested in this over the weekend. I am also not a representative of the mali group in part of this deal
I happy to take questions on the fijian side of the venture even though my only relationship to the venture is the inhabatents of Mali are part of my family.
Well the forum can draw its own conclusion.
First of all NLTB stands for Native Land Trust Board. I haven't really read what is on the web site because its too complicated for any investor.
Secondly, from my point of view as a fijian, "tribewanted.com" has to have a lease in hand to start collecting money on such projects.
Thirdly, the information on the land should be freely available for its potential members. ie NL number (Native Lease number) and its longivity.
Forthly, who are the stakeholders in the investments. ie Land Owners, "Tribewanted.com - how many stakehoders in "tribewanted.com".
I guess, there are various ways that anyone on this forum can find this information. If people out there are really serious, I could get information on the lease. Thats free and I should be in Fiji in September. I strongly hate (sorry guys, hate is a strong word) but I hate people who use this sort of situation to get and scam money from innocent people.
Just a message to "tribewanted.com, your course is a good one, but learn from the big resorts who are facing legal battles in Fiji. It all comes down to how clearly the lease was negotiated and also your (investors) obligations to the local people. Also, as a foreign investor, one has to think about the culture you're doing business with. As a fijian, MONEY is not part of our culture and in saying that, we dont really know how to spend it or save it. Balance it out. This could be the best thing and it could be a nasty one also. Cheers guys and thank you for bringing it out.