The Secretary General of Vanuatu's Sanma province, Joel Path, says coastal access for locals is a priority on the northern island of Espiritu Santo.
The recently upgraded Santo East Coast Road has opened up 52 kilometres of coastline on Vanuatu's biggest island, but has raised fears locals will be denied access to beaches because of new tourism developments.
Coastal access over leased land has caused tension around Port Vila in the past but Mr Path says his province has learnt lessons from what's happened on Efate.
"Our physical planning division here in the province has maintained its stand. Even though land is being leased out to investors, we will maintain a stand to make sure there is access for all."
Joel Path says investors are already eyeing up more of the east coast for development.