Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Aussies choose Vanuatu holidays


21 September 2012: Vanuatu is proving to be popular with Australian tourists this year with Aussie visitor numbers up by 17.5% from January to July compared to the same period in 2011. July 2012 was a bumper month with 28.5% more Australian visitors than in July 2011. 
January to July 2012 has seen 36,300 Australia visitors compared to 30,900 in 2011 and July 2012 saw a big increase with 7,200 Aussies compared to 5,600 in July 2011.  Overall in 2011 Vanuatu saw 59,200 Australian visitors.  Linda Kalpoi, general manager at Vanuatu Tourism Office is very pleased to see the Australian visitor numbers rising this year, as it is the number one market for Vanuatu, and is optimistic that the target for a 10% year-on-year increase is set to be achieved. 

“We have undertaken a number of campaigns with wholesaler partners in Australia both at the end of 2011 and during 2012 to promote Vanuatu and drive bookings, and we are already seeing the positive results of these promotional activities through increased visitors from the market.  Our overall target for 2012 is a 10% increase in Australian visitors and we are very optimistic that this will be reached and even exceeded,” Ms Kalpoi states. “A key part of our strategy this year was to educate agents and we found our new format ‘quiz nights’ roadshow, which we held in May, to be a huge success with agents having a positive reaction to the new approach and many winning individual trips to Vanuatu to experience the destination first-hand.  To compliment this we have recently launched our new online training with Your Workshops and have already seen almost 500 agents register to complete this.

“Our strategy for 2013 will capitalise on the work and partnerships we have created over the last few years and also to build on our niche segments such as weddings, with our new dedicated microsite, and meetings and incentives.  Our overall aim is to ensure that Vanuatu remains in position as one of the top South-Pacific island destinations for Australian travellers.” All agents are invited to take part in the new online training programme and every agent who successfully completes the modules by 15 October 2012 will not only become a Vanuatu expert, but will have the chance to win a spot on an agent famil later this year. 

Agents go to www.vanuatu.travel to the agent page to link through to the online training page which is run by Your Workshops. For additional information please contact Anne Morris, Australian Representative, Vanuatu Tourism Office on australia@vanuatu.travel or phone + 61 (0) 2 9028 5086. For more information on Vanuatu please visit www.vanuatu.travel 

*Figures according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Vanuatu’s strong presence in JATA, Japan

Team Vanuatu seen with Mr Hiro Osuka, The Melanesian GM.

With ongoing support from The Melanesian and South Pacific Tours, Vanuatu was able to once again create a strong presence at the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Travel Mart, which took place from 21st to 23rd September, this month in Tokyo, Japan. JATA received a total of 125,989 agents in travel and trade, which scored an increase of 7% from last year’s statistics. Vanuatu’s booth minders proudly wore their aelan dreses whilst on duty. Key questions asked were: How to get to Vanuatu and what are the connecting flights? Are there any beaches and diving spots? How accessible are our volcanoes and if Vanuatu has volcano tours? Out of the three questions, the most popular frequently asked was how to get to Vanuatu. Mr Doyama from The Melanesian presented on Vanuatu which was attended by well over 40 agents. A movie has been made by the team to show the destination to the Japanese market viewed here. The Vanuatu Tourism Office would like to acknowledge both Mr Doyama, Hiro Osuka, and their team for the continuous support in promoting Vanuatu in JATA and Japan overall. 

Mika and Waiwo experience Esum Cultural Village


On 20th September, VTO’s newly employed Information Officer Michaela Rory and student trainee Waiwo Pulpe joined a famil tour to Esum Cultural Village. In the village, there were ten stop stations that demonstrated unique traditions and ancient day to day living & methods throughout the islands of Vanuatu from fish traps making to, spears, herbal medicines, traditional ways of preserving food, chicken traps, local bush cutleries, burial methods, and more. During the famil, guests were told a custom story about the birth and existence of Yasur volcano which derived from 2 widows and a husband. Several custom dances were performed accompanied by tropical refreshments & stringband entertainment to nicely end the tour. The Vanuatu Tourism Offices thanks the Management of Esum Cultural Village for hosting Michaela and Jack on a tour that will be remembered.

Out with the old - in with the new

Albert Solomon and Helen Goad.
VTOA media release: It was with regret that the Executive Committee accepted the resignation of their Vice-President, Helen Goad from Port Vila Parasailing. Helen is facing some health issues that necessitate her returning to Australia, and with the business now under contract, Helen & Bruce are preparing to reluctantly make the move back to the “Big Island”. Of her time with the VTOA, Helen says that she has seen the Association grow and change. She says that she has enjoyed being part of the Executive Team, and is looking forward to seeing the Association become a stronger voice in the Tourism Sector in Vanautu. On Helen’s recommendation, the Executive Committee has appointed Mr Albert Solomon of Lelepa Island Tours as the new Vice President. Albert has been a member of the VTOA for 12 years, and has seen many committees come and go. Of the current committee he says “ I am very excited to be part of such a great group of people who put the interests of all tour operators over their own business needs when it comes to the VTOA”. Albert is married to Laine, and they have five children – four girls and one boy. Albert is an integral part of his home community on Lelepa Island, being a Leading Church Elder, and an important part of business and employment on the Island. When asked what he wants to see from the VTOA, Albert said “I want to see more locals involved in the VTOA so that we can increase employment and income for the NiVanuatu people in the Tourism Industry. I also want us to work more closely with Government and other Associations to further improve the service that we can offer those who visit our beautiful islands.” Albert went on to say, on behalf of the Committee and the VTOA: “Thank you Helen for your commitment to the VTOA and the time and effort you have put in. Both the VTOA and the country will miss Aunty Helen and Uncle Bruce”. The VTOA can be contacted by sending an email to Charmaine at secretary@toursvanuatu.com  or by phoning Morgan on +678 5545872 or Albert on +678 7742714.

Island Life Magazine


By Island Life Management: Does your business or organisation have any events/forums/workshops happening this Christmas? Island Life magazine, Vanuatu’s only general interest magazine is now working on its December/January issue and welcomes events to promote within its “Happenings” section. 

You can find Island Life magazine complimentary for guests inside the rooms of most resorts in Efate and Santo and for sale in over 70 locations including Au Bon Marche supermarkets, main street cafes and restaurants, Post Offices, airport terminals and many other key retail outlets in Efate and Santo. 

Island Life – Vanuatu’s No1 magazine! 
Email islandlife@monsoonmediapacific.com 


Aniwa Ocean View Bungalows


Aniwa Ocean View Bungalow is approximately five minutes walk down to the beautiful Naporo white sunday beach with scenic view of the southern ocean and glow sky by natural fire works of the Yasur volcano. Aniwa Ocean View Bungalows has three bungalows ranging from one single room for 2500vt/night including breakfast, one room for couples at 4000vt/night including breakfast and one room for family. Family room includes over 12 years for 2500vt/night including breakfast and under 12 years for 1000vt per night including breakfast. Meals blended with seafoods include regular lunch and dinner for 750vt/plate while meal with lobster for 1,500vt/plate for lunch and dinner. 

Read more.

Our Journey – Vanuatu Women Beach Volley


Put together by Numpty Productions, the Vanuatu Women Beach Volleyball team which has had much support from the tourism industry, has created a DVD presentation about their story and would like to share it with everybody. Management of the Vanuatu Women Beach Volleyball would like to thank all its supporters, sponsors, families, and fans for all for their support throughout their amazing journey since 2009. 

View video here. 

Vanuatu Golf Open 2013 tentatively for 13th – 18th August


The Vanuatu Golf Open, scheduled for 13th to 18th August 2013, has been a major sporting event on the Vanuatu event calendar for the past 26 years. The event now attracts upwards of 160 international men and lady amateurs and professional players. The opportunity for amateurs to play alongside  professionals is always a thrill for amateurs and hopefully they learn lots in doing so. The last two days in played as a seeded draw so the professional get to play with other professionals and the event culminates in a spectacular final day and prize giving at the Port Vila Golf and Country Club which has a real carnival atmosphere. The ladies event is played over 3 days and concludes on the Saturday. For more information contact VGO Chairman Bryan Death on tms@vanuatu.com.vu or by phone  +678 5577034. 
Visit the official website www.vanuatugolfopen.info 

Fest Napuan Music Festival & Zion Fest 2012 Program

Venue: Saralana, at the Cultural Centre showground, Port Vila

Fest’Napuan - Thursday 27th September
5.00       Benny & the Gang
5.45       Royal Priesthood
6.30       Junior Ras &Mystic Yuts
7.15       Ruff Haus
7.40       Narasirato (Sol)
8.45       Huarere
10.30     Rize of the Morning Star (Aus)
11.35     N2 Crews
12.05     End
Fest’ Tamariki - Friday 28th September
7.30       Arrival of schools
8.00       Opening Prayer
              Opening speech (Chariman of Fest’ Tamariki)
              Official Speech (PEO Shefa)
              Official Speech (Chairman, Fest’ Napuan)
9.00       Melesuango
              Ecole St Jean D’Arc
             SDA
             Anamburu School
             Kawenu Primary School
             Freswota
              Vila North Primary School
             Vila East Primary School
             Ifira Primary School
            Central School
            Ecole Publique
            Melemaat
            Pango
            Eratap
            Ekipe
            Vila Christian School
3.00       Closing remarks and closing prayer
3.00pm  – 5.00pm           Haos blong KIK program

Fest’napuan - Friday 28th September
5.00       Shanty Town
5.30       Real Peace
6.15       Tribal Chant
7.00       Young Life
7.45       Alme System
8.30       Lion’s Rock (NC)
9.35       Blue King Brown (Aus)
10.40     Twinspark
11.25     Black Ghetto
12.05     End
Fest’napuan - Saturday 29th September 
4.00       Masamp Crews
4.45       Narasirato (Sol)
5.50       Konserners
6.35       Eraso
7.20       Core Node (NC)
8.25       Stan & The Earth Force
9.10       Rize of the Morning Star (Aus)
10.15     Naio
11.00     Blue King Brown (Aus)
12.05     Koulnoue Boys Band (NC)
1.10       Antz in Tokyo
1.50       End

Zion Fest’ - Sunday 30th September
Start:     3pm
1.            Elim Church Youth
2.            Santete Family in Christ Ministry
3.            Gospel Ages-Eratap
4.            SherolynGalomule
5.            Navatabarop Youth
6.            Janet Barako
7.            Garden of Praise
8.            Fathers House Youth
9.            Royal Identity
10.          Pango Conquering Choir
11.          PMC Presbyterian Youth
12.          AOG Vila Youth Combine
13.          Tabernacle Praise
14.          Lopatu For Jesus
15.          Unusual
17.          Revelation 7s
18.          Living Water Church Youth
19.          Soul Harvest - Paunagisu
20.          Comforter Singers
21.          Malasitapu Presbyterian Youth
22.          Church of Christ Youth Combine
23.          Chapman Family
24.          NTM Youth
25.          ALM Youth
26.          Apostolic Olen
27.          Eraso
28.          Zion Theatre
End:       11pm

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vanuatu launches first steps into Korean Market


DTG Korea (Dynamic Tourism Group), marketing representative for Vanuatu Tourism Office pose with VTO General Manager, Linda Kalpoi.
Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) launches first step to Korea. Vanuatu, one of the most beautiful insular countries located in the South Pacific, was introduced by the Law of the Jungle (SBS Program) in Korea. Vanuatu has been a popular tourist destination for Australians and New Zealanders for decades.

Linda Kalpoi, Commissioner of VTO, who visited Korea for the Yeosu World Expo stated, "Tourists can enjoy the best preserved nature even in close proximity to the metropolitan areas. We will be promoting actively to Koreans who are looking for a unique journey." Tourism is the dominant industry in Vanuatu with 60% of tourists from Australia and 20% from New Zealand. VTO has already implemented marketing activities in Japan and China and plans to extend the efforts across all of Asia. VTO has determined that it is the appropriate time to support travel agencies in Korea with the development and marketing of Vanuatu travel packages in synch with the sudden explosion of Vanuatu exposure through Korean media.

SSK/Hihoju will be launching new travel packages connecting Australia and Vanuatu and will start introducing them to the major wholesalers in Korea. Mr. Kim Hyo Chul, president of SSK/Hihoju, said that these new products will focus on the family and honeymoon markets. They are currently in discussion with Air Vanuatu and ground operators to finalize their itineraries and costings. DTG Korea will be marketing Vanuatu as the representative of VTO using various strategies including SNS. 070-7430-5890 / 070-7430-5890. Email Bora Yang bora@traveltimes.co.kr

VTO participates at the Clean Up the World

VTO staff assemble for a photo shoot before clean up.
On Saturday 15th September, the Vanuatu Tourism Office led by the General Manager Linda Kalpoi, also a guest speaker of the event, assembled at the Port Vila seafront to part take in the Clean Up the World campaign organized by the Australian High Commission. This year, VTO partnered up and supported the Australian High Commission and the Port Vila Municipality team in coordinating the event as well as sponsoring 500 reusable bags for event participants. The weather on Saturday catered for a fantastic clean up, attended by private sector businesses, bank houses, foreign embassies, primary and intermediate schools including the hospitality and tourism institution, outskirt communities, Wan Smol Bag, Alliance Francaise, and the Vanuatu Mobile Police Force. Big Blue also showed their support and dived along seafront to clean up the ocean floor, joined by VTO’s Events Manager Sebastien Bador. Digicel sponsored bikes for draw prizes, and Recycle Corp was present to collect bottles and cans to be recycled. A good crowd of over 300 people were kept entertained with hip hop and rock step performances throughout lunch hour by the Wan Smol Bag Youth group, courtesy of Alliance Francaise, followed by official speeches, draw prizes, and the closing.  Clean-Up Luganville in Espiritu Santo will also be taking place on Saturday this weekend, alongside Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival. The VTO has sent 100 reusable bags for the clean up event in Santo. The VTO would like to acknowledge the Australian High Commission for this valuable initiative in involving Vanuatu in   the Clean Up the World campaign and looks forward to continuously supporting and assisting in future events. Read newspaper clippings on Clean Up the World, click here.


VTO Events and Trade Manager joins Big Blue to clean  up ocean floor.

Tanna Snakehill Road under construction

The Snakehill or Nanialu road on Tanna, which leads vehicles on a windy drive downhill towards the volcano ashplain, and back, is currently undergoing construction. The task to upgrade the road, is carried out by Fletcher company and Public Works Department which currently have the road closed for upgrade throughout periods 8am to 12 midday, and 1pm to 4pm. Intervals between 12pm to 1pm and after 4pm, the road can be used by the public.

Expedia Australia dedicated Vanuatu campaign goes live

Click on image to view campaign page.
A dedicated Vanuatu campaign went live with Expedia Australia on 17 September 2012.  Due to the success of a similar campaign in February, Vanuatu Tourism Office is working in co-op with Air Vanuatu for the second time this year with Expedia. This dedicated Vanuatu microsite is being promoted through Expedia’s online channels and via social media.  The Vanuatu Tourism Office is also placing some further advertising online to drive traffic to the booking site. This campaign is in market to promote low season holidays as well as traditional peak season escapes. The February campaign saw an increase of 252% of flights purchased for the campaign period and fantastic room night growth up 104% from pre to campaign period and up 172% year-on-year and we expect a further increase in this campaign. View page here.

Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project to commence in 2013

Aerial shot of Port Vila. ©Kirklandphotos.com
Department of Tourism News Update: As of February this year the Government of Vanuatu through the Ministry of Internal Affairs signed a bilateral agreement with the New Zealand High Commission for a feasibility study on rehabilitation for the portside and seafront area. This project was developed by the Department of Tourism as part of its role in managing the destination as a holiday destination to improve the image of Port Vila. The key focus for the project was for improving the environment at the Port Vila main wharf on cruise ship days. This project is called the Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project. The Department of Tourism have gone through desktop reviews, private and public sector consultations on the concept designs for the project. One key output of the seafront precinct of the project is as follows:- 
1. Develop a beautification program for the seafront park area. 
2. Improve walkway from the Grand Hotel right through to the Fatumaru Park (Chantilly’s area) 
3. Improve the children play ground area. 
4. Re-designing of the market vendors building where nambawan cafe is situated so that it provides better visibility and accessibility for visitors into the area. 
5. Develop and promote local quality arts & crafts program.  This program will train craftsmen and women, including artists, on how to produce high value products, including packaging and branding to coincide with and promote the destination brand. 
6. Improve the Fatumaru Park to have proper infrastructure and walkways for locals to use. 
The project is at its final design stage and commence implementation by 2013. 

Vanuatu Fishing - Episode 2 – Ocean Blue

View great footages shot over a 4 day adventure, of nonstop action of dogtooth on poppers & jigs, plus GT's to 55kg. Check out Ocean Blue’s next YouTube blockbuster to get pulses racing! 

View here or click on image.

Island Escape Cruises pleased to release 2013/14 Cruise and Charter brochure

Click on cover to download brochure.

Image library to boost South Pacific promotion


For immediate release: The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), in its capacity as the mandated tourism marketing body for the South Pacific today formalised the appointment of Frontier Publishing PTY Ltd to undertake a Pacific Islands Image Library Project in SPTO’s 15-member Pacific ACP Countries.
Funded through the European Union's EDF 10 Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme (PRTCBP), the objective of the Pacific Islands Image Library Project is to assist in the improvement of tourism promotional activities and tools used by the region’s National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) in both print and electronic media through the production and use of a high-quality digital library. Leading this project will be David Kirkland, one of the most widely published travel photographers and writers in the Asia Pacific region, specialising in capturing memorable promotional photographs for national tourism authorities and organisations and producing world-class images for international resorts and boutique properties.
In signing the project contract, SPTO's Chief Executive Officer, Ilisoni Vuidreketi reiterated the need for the region to compete more effectively in the global tourism market and acknowledged that high quality images remain to be effective tools that will help capture traveller's imagination and desire to visit the South Pacific. Over the next six (6) months, David Kirkland, in partnership with the SPTO will travel throughout the Pacific Islands photographing unique attractions and charming scenery that make each of these island destinations fascinatingly alluring. Once completed, all images will be made available through a digital online image library hosted on the official SPTO website and conveniently made accessible to National Tourism Offices across the Pacific and as well as other tourism stakeholders for use in their marketing and promotional activities.

News from The Distillery at the Summit

Timothy packaging Sandalwood powder. 
The Sandalwood Essential Oil Distillation Unit.














The Summit’s steam distillation plant has been fully operational since it’s commissioning in March 2012 with distillation of sandalwood being the primary product for it’s use. The steam distillation unit can produce up to a litre of pure sandalwood oil per batch. The Summit’s hardworking team distils pure Vanuatu sandalwood heart, locally known as Natora. In each batch, 260 litres of sandalwood hydrosol is collected which is used in the Manufacturing Division for products such as handmade soaps and body mists. Read more

E-Marketing to Boost Tourism Growth in Pacific Islands


Tourist arrivals into Pacific Island countries are forecasted to reach 1.8 million in 2015, a growth of 19 percent over 1.513 million recorded in 2011. The expected contributors to this growth forecast include projected increases in room inventory (eg. new hotel developments), expected expansion in aviation, positive economic prospects of Australia and New Zealand markets, and increases in small and medium size (SME) tourism operators’ on-line development and marketing initiatives.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and its implementing partner, Hotel Link Solutions (HLS), have reached another milestone following the completion of the Digital Marketing workshops and SME Market Readiness Audits conducted a few months ago in Tarawa and the Yasawa Islands under Phase 1 of the SME E-Marketing Support Pilot Project funded by EDF10. This week, SPTO is proud to announce the launching of 11 new e-commerce enabled web sites for properties in Tarawa, and a further 13 in the Yasawa islands.

Due to difficulties with internet access and connectivity for some properties in the Yasawa Islands, the project has also assisted the Yasawa Tourism Marketing Cooperative (YTMC) with the development of their e-commerce portal which can handle bookings for its members with connectivity issues. “This is an excellent model developed by the project which can be deployed for use in remote and isolated areas where internet access and connectivity is an issue” commented Hotel Link Solutions Director, Mr Len Cordiner.
SPTO CEO Mr Ilisoni Vuidreketi commended this work for SME operators and is very pleased to see the growing interest in the use of online marketing tools and social media among participating property owners in these smaller member countries, in particular Kiribati.

Mr Vuidreketi said, “Tourism is a global business and with the advancement of ICT, every tourism operator must learn how to leverage ICT and use it as a platform to boost their international sales. I’m glad to see our member countries have done the right thing by encouraging local tourism businesses to adopt these effective online and social media marketing tools to help boost their sales and grow their business. I’m sure those properties not yet using the new e-commerce tools available will follow their peers very soon”

SPTO is now working closely with Hotel Link Solutions on a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) process to ensure that all the web sites launched become quickly visible to travellers on Google and Bing to facilitate bookings. In addition, the properties all have access as well to channel management tools when they are ready, to enable them to distribute to multiple online travel agents in the region such as Wotif, and Booking.com.

Pacific WW2 Museum Santo Vanuatu

Click on image to enlarge viewing.

Kirkland Photos awarded South Pacific contract


Indian @ Seaside Voucher, Port Vila


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Win dive holiday to Vanuatu

Win a five night dive holiday, with two Air Vanuatu flights from Sydney, five nights at Villa 25 and six dives or PADI course for two with Big Blue – open for Australian residents only – enter at www.dive-vanuatu.com before 30 September 2012.

General Manager - Vanuatu Hotels & Resorts Association (VHRA)


POSITION VACANTThe Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association is seeking to appoint a full time General Manager to report to the VHRA Executive Committee. This is an exciting opportunity for someone wishing to play an important role in the tourism industry of Vanuatu. The role will require the successful applicant to display the following competencies:

             Excellent Knowledge of the Tourism Sector
             Strong connection with Government  and statutory bodies is preferred
             Excellent communication and organisational skills 
             Competency in Bislama highly desirable, French an advantage
             Highly computer literate
             Able to work unsupervised

Remuneration will be discussed with applicants who are selected for interview. Applications in writing should be addressed to:

VHRA Secretary
PO Box 1019

Port Vila

Or emailed to vhra.sec@gmail.com 

Vanuatu by the Thames in London during the Olympic Games

Vanuatu athletes pose for group photo in London.
From the 26th of July until the 13 August the tourist boards of Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea transformed a large pontoon moored at St Katharine Docks into a tropical South Pacific island.  Against the backdrop of the Olympic rings on the London Tower Bridge, palm trees swayed in the breeze, a traditional thatched meeting house was erected and the docks echoed with warrior war cries and South Pacific serenades.
Throughout the games visitors to Saint Katharine Dock, a popular tourist site, lined with restaurants, were able to get a taste of the rich cultural heritage of the South Pacific. Two special events were held on the pontoon during the games.  One was for press and media and the other for the travel industry.  The Vanuatu athletes visited for both of these occasions and were a hit with the crowd.  Our athletes were interviewed by a number of radio and television stations and travel trade magazines.
Brochures were distributed and special holiday prizes were offered during the duration of this event.  The Vanuatu Tourism Representative in Europe, Jeanette Baude helped to co-ordinate this event.

Outstanding Blue Marlin Caught Off Port Vila


By Crusoe Fishing Adventures: Crusoe Fishing Adventures Captain Richard Moruk on board Crusoe vessel Wahoo, with crewmen Lawrence Tui and Dick Nausien landed a 720 pound Blue Marlin for lucky anglers David and Jim from Nelson in New Zealand who had won their fishing trip in a draw. They had a fantastic half day fishing recently raising three Blue Marlin, tagging and releasing one around 300 pounds and landing the big one. After a 1 ½ hour fight the fish was finally beside the boat and was exhausted from the fight. Crusoe Grander Marlin Challenge is still up for grabs, and all anglers need to do is catch a Blue or Black Marlin that weighs over 1,000 pounds to win $50,000 AUD! Competition finishes on the 31st of December 2012! For more information, call + 678 774 5490.
Email crusoe@vanuatu.com.vu Visit www.crusoefishing.com.vu 

Tok Tok Vanuatu Acknowledgement

VTO staff and reps pose infront of Asco bus, generously offered to the VTO to be used during Tok Tok week. Thanks Asco!

The Vanuatu Tourism Office and the Tok Tok Vanuatu Committee wishes to thank all industry members, event sponsors and partners for the tremendous support towards  another successful  Tok Tok Vanuatu from 27th to 31st August 2012.

This year, the Tok Tok Vanuatu organizing committee marked the beginning of a new decade with the inaugural of a new concept moving away from the traditional booth style meetings to being out and about on a mega famil providing an array of options for international buyers and media companies, 64 delegates in total from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, Europe, Asia, and the United States, to experience and “Discover What Matters in Vanuatu”.  

The General Manager of VTO Ms. Linda Kalpoi stated that the new concept proved to be successful which has allowed Vanuatu’s wholesalers and travel writers to effectively and efficiently promote, package and sell Vanuatu as an exotic destination that is ready to welcome guests with memoriable experiences and unique culture rather than just a product of another destination in the South Pacific.

During the week long event, well over 40 wholesalers and 8 travel writers travelled to Tanna and Espiritu Santo which has rippled exciting feedback from the likes of visiting authentic cultural villages and experiencing an adrenalin rush atop Mount Yasur on Tanna, to diving the President Coolidge and relaxing in one of the world’s most pristine crystal blue holes in the island of Espiritu Santo. 

Vanuatu’s sellers or local tourism businesses, a total of 104 this year, as well as buyers and overseas media professionals, have ended Tok Tok on very high notes over the new twist to its mega famil concept. The VTO Board & Management have received positive feedback across the board with all buyers having the confidence to package Vanuatu as a preferred destination. The  Tok Tok Committee along with the VTO will decide on next year’s concept after compiling and analysing all feedbacks and comments on this year’s Tok Tok.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office & Tok Tok Vanuatu committee would like to thank in particular Tok Tok’s ongoing major sponsor the ANZ Bank, and Air Vanuatu, Evergreen Tours and Transfers, Holiday Inn Resort, Airports Vanuatu, Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association, Vanuatu Tour Operators Association, South Pacific Tourism Organization, Virgin Australia, Aore Island Resort, Asco Motors, Azure Pure Water, Beachfront Resort, Breakas Beach Resort, Chantillys on the Bay, Deco  Stop Lodge,  Entani Company Ltd, Espiritu Santo Tourism Association, Fatumaru Lodge, Grand Hotel & Casino, Hotel Santo, Iririki Island Resort & Spa, Nasama Resort, Oyster Island Resort , Paradise Cove Resort, Port Vila Municipality, Starfish Cove Resort , Sun Productions, Tafea Tourism Council, Tanna Evergreen Resort , Tanna Lodge, Telecom Vanuatu Ltd, The Havannah, The Melanesian Port Vila, Top Signs, Unelco, Vanuatu Beverage, Vanuatu Brewery, Vanuatu Post, Vila Handprints, Village de Santo, Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa, and Whitegrass Ocean Resort.

Vanuatu is hosting Korean celebrities for the second time in less than 6 months

SBS Korea TV crew films landing of Unity Airlines.
Media release 04 September 2012: The Vanuatu Tourism Office is currently thrilled with the Korean filming which is taking place these days in Malekula. Our tropical islands seem to have caught the interest of the Seoul Broadcasting System as it is the second time in less than a semester it flies to our place a big TV crew.  The name of this TV reality show is “Law of the Jungle: W” (the W stands for women) but is also known as “Queen of the Jungles”. The 120mn TV program is especially made for the South Korean thanksgiving period, and is quite similar to the “Law of the Jungle” program SBS broadcasted in March this year. The major difference is there are no male participants, but only female actresses and singers in this TV production. On Sunday 03rd September 27 people, including 5 popular actresses such as TV drama heroes Ms Choi Eun Young and Ms Lee Ji-Hyun, were warmly welcomed at Bauerfield International Airport. By showcasing Vanuatu islands and especially Malekula island to South Korean viewers through this kind of initiative, the Vanuatu Tourism Office and its partners encourage international visitors to come and discover Vanuatu unique cultures and sceneries. By watching this captivating TV reality show, the audience will follow and be appealed by the experiences lived by the five South Korean famous actresses enjoying Vanuatu islands. They moreover will want to discover what matters as well.

Mr. Sebastien Bador, Events/ Trade Manager, said “We continue to capitalize on Vanuatu success story in South Korea, which we implemented with the first SBS TV production hosting and our Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea presence. Investment and tourism seminars held in Seoul, not to mention the prize winning campaign with Air Vanuatu, significantly maintained Vanuatu exposure in the Korean market. With “Queen of the Jungles” filming and release at prime time during Chuseok, there is no doubt Korean people will have an understanding of what is Vanuatu. We then hope to convert this picture in airline and hotels occupancy with the assistance of our new Korean trade partners”.

Chuseok is by far the biggest and most important holiday in Korea. It is a time when family members from near and far come together to share food and stories and to give thanks to their ancestors for the abundant harvest. This year Chuseok Day falls on Monday, September 12, but the holiday is observed for a total of three days (Sept. 11 – Sept. 13). 

What's New on the www.vanuatu.travel

U-Power Sea Adventures: High speed water tours - Join us on our exciting water tour and command your own Zego Sports Craft. We will guide you through the pristine waters of the Port Vila Bay area. You will be amazed of the beauty surrounding you! Join the fun with U-Power, the best way to explore the bay driving your own Zego Sports Craft on our famous guided High Speed Water tours. Tours take 30 minutes and even 60 minute rides.



Mangaliliu Nature Trek: Welcome to our beautiful community of Mangaliliu Village, located in north Efate just 30 minutes drive from the capital Port Vila.









Seven Seas Brewery at the Warhorse Saloon: The War Horse Saloon at the Seven Seas Brewery is Vanuatu’s first and only country western themed restaurant, bar and micro brewery established in 2002.  The restaurant features a “Taste of Texas in the Tropics” with bbq ribs our specialty. The brewery offers three signature beers Texican, Boots Lager, and Happy Dog Porter as well as a seasonal “Brewers Choice” beer. Free tours of the brewery are available Monday to Friday at 11:30am and 5:30pm.  Parties of 8 or more are able to make arrangements to suit.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Explosive Tok Tok for Kiwi wholesalers

By Hayley Barnett, Traveltrade writer/Tok Tok delegate: An all new Tok Tok Vanuatu kicked off on Saturday with eight Kiwi wholesalers in attendance, the largest group the tradeshow has seen from New Zealand since its conception 11 years ago. Read More

Left photo: Go Holidays product manager Gareth Waddington on Tanna Lodge’s Black Beach quad bike tour.

Forum Secretariat’s Pacific Islands Trade & Invest provides websites for Pacific islands tourism


Left to Right: WHL.travel CEO, Rob Shortland, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation's Tina Kae and Pacific IslandsTrade and Invest's Investment Programme Manager, Tim Martin helping accommodation owners online for free.
Small and medium sized tourism operators in the Pacific region will now have access to an exciting new program designed to improve their online marketing and distribution.
Launched earlier this year, the project, developed by the Forum Secretariat’s Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I), in partnership with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) aims to get as many accommodation providers as possible set up with a professional online booking enabled website. The Cook Islands and Tarawa in Kiribati have been set up as pilot destinations.
Owner of the Sunny Beach Lodge in the Cook Islands, Aroha Ramea describes the project: 
“For me the benefit of this programme is that we got a better online presence and unlike other website designers we get better access to our site so we can make changes ourselves.
Some of the small accommodators here in the Cook Islands can’t afford the initial set up of a website and this programme is free in terms of the design and launch of a website which would otherwise be too expensive for them.”
This online marketing and distribution program will stimulate growth in terms of accommodation bookings, filling a gap in the distribution chain for SMME operators and helping to reach the global market. The direct booking facility is complemented with channel management tools to enable third party distribution when needed via sites such as Wotif, Booking.com, Expedia and others.
Later, it is planned to supply all participating accommodation providers with integrated booking-capable Facebook pages and enhanced TripAdvisor listings. The costs for the photo shoot, set-up for the new web sites with booking engine, the channel management and the social media have all been covered by PT&I and SPTO, with participants responsible only for their web hosting costs.
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, in recently launching the 2012 edition of “Investment Opportunities in the Pacific Islands”, described such initiatives as influential in the creation of greater international opportunities for the region’s businesses.
“Our Leaders have recognised the important role of the private sector in the region, and wemust continue to support private sector development in the Pacific in pursuit of sustainable economies and communities, and to improve lives of Pacific peoples,” Mr Slade said.
To date, the program has produced 31 live websites for Cook Islands properties, many of which have already begun to take online bookings. It is expected that ten more Cook Islands websites will be able to go live over the next month, along with the thirteen websites being built for properties in Tarawa.
The PT&I have a MOU with the SPTO to work in partnership to increase investments in the tourism sector for the Pacific Island Countries.
“The MOU between PIFS and SPTO, from which this program emanates, continues to deliver practical programs which drive sales of accommodation providers and attract investment into the tourism sector for Pacific Island Countries. This strategic alliance between two regional organisations highlights the outcomes that can be achieved when regional organisations work together for the benefit of the private sector,” said Forum Secretary General, Mr Slade.

For more information on this project, please contact Hilary Taylor Nichols, Tourism Promotion Manager at Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, hilary.tn@pacifictradeinvest.com

Vanuatu Extreme Dogtooth & GT Popping – Nov 2012

Source Oceanblue.com: Join this adventure and focus on casting lures, jigging and some trolling for Vanuatu’s premier sportfish such as dogtooth tuna, GT’s, yellowfin, wahoo & more. Based at our waterfront Angler’s Lodge ‘Tree’s & Fishes’, you are located close to a selection of islands, reefs, bluewater FAD’s & inshore fishing areas. The Fishing Trip: During this adventure you’ll fish a variety of reef systems, underwater sea mounts and remote volcanic islands with steep cliff faces not only offering superb fishing but spectacular scenery. Sports anglers can target a variety of species including GT’s, dogtooth, yellowfin tuna, wahoo & red bass on casting and jigging gear. Our team also targets big doggies on popping gear, a technique that gets explosive action & is thrilling to witness. There are light tackle options for if anglers wish to add some inshore fishing to the mix. The big EdgeWater centre console is perfect for 4 anglers casting & jigging. Read more.

Pacific Island Living magazine is here


Click on image to enlarge view.
A Vanuatu based public relations and publishing business, Photogenic, is set to launch a new international magazine next month. Tiffany Carroll says the new mag, Pacific Island Living will be the region’s first lifestyle magazine. “We have secured a contract with Pasing IMM, the international media distribution company who will sell the magazine throughout the Pacific. It’s really exciting for Vanuatu,” Ms. Carroll said. Pacific Island Living features articles of interest for those that live in the Pacific, or only dream of it. “We know how lucky we are to live in the Pacific, especially in Vanuatu, however some things can be a little hard to get hold of. Every product featured in Pacific Island Living, from the latest fashion to beauty products, books and homeware is either available here, or available online,” Ms. Carroll said. The new magazine is the brainchild of Ms. Carroll and Sydney power journalists Pat Ingram and Craig Osment. Pat was at the helm of Australian Consolidated Press for 20 years, as the publishing director of The Australian Woman’s Weekly, Harpers Bazaar, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, New Woman and Woman’s Day. Mr. Osment owns Australia’s biggest independent publishing company, Media21 in Sydney. “It is fabulous to have the direction and guidance of Pat and Craig, not to mention our fabulous team of features writers and section editors,” Ms. Carroll said. The magazine will be sold throughout the Pacific, and available free in Vanuatu. “We’re also going to be on board every Our Airline (the airline of the Central Pacific) flight, which means our reach will be enormous,” she said. Ms. Carroll and Mr. Ingram are no strangers to Vanuatu publishing, having published The Essential Vanuatu book in December last year as well as being the publishers of Air Vanuatu’s inflight magazine, Island Spirit. “Our new magazine will complement Island Spirit nicely, being not only targeted to visitors to Vanuatu, but to those considering holidaying, buying or investing here. Its distribution will really help put Vanuatu on the map.”

Vanuatu Tourism Office calls for Clean-Up the World 2012 volunteers

Official handover of the VTO sponsored reusable bags by Sebastien Bador, Trade/ Events Manager, to Casey Beath, Third Secretary, for Clean-Up the World 2012 volunteers.
Port-Vila, 10 September 2012: The Vanuatu Tourism Office is proud to be associated with Alliance Fran├žaise, the Australian High-Commission, Live & Learn, Port-Vila Municipality, Wan Smolbag Theatre and Westpac Vanuatu in the upcoming international Clean-Up the World campaign. Clean-Up Port-Vila 2012 highlight will be Saturday 15th of September, when five hundreds expected volunteers will join their force to collect litters in and around Port-Vila. Everyone is invited to gather from 08.00am at the seafront, pick-up waste bags before being transported to different areas for rubbish picking. At 11.00am volunteers will be returned to the seafront for the official speeches, before the bikes raffle. Great and educational entertainment will be provided from 11.30am to 04.00pm by Alliance Fran├žaise and Wan Smolbag Theatre.

“We are pleased to take part to that event” Sebastien Bador stated “Port-Vila is one of the most beautiful port in the South Pacific, and one of the most uncontaminated capital city in the World. In which other port and capital city can you organize international Open Water Swims competition, spot marine wildlife such as dugongs and whales, see laughing kids jumping from the seafront in the crystal clear waters?”
Vanuatu Tourism Office Trade & Events Manager declared “In other to preserve our unspoiled environment we all have to take actions and make all we can to be eco-friendly. Education plays the biggest role, but we all can contribute with little simple gesture like reduce, reuse, and recycle household hazardous waste and industrial materials. 
The Vanuatu Tourism Office is honored to demonstrate its involvement within Clean-Up Port-Vila 2012 event as Port-Vila beautification is one of our matter. Our city hosts almost 80% of our international new visitors, and for many of them represents the whole country. 
We particularly appeal to our motorized drivers and passengers who keep dropping their litters through their vehicle windows, your uncivil behavior impact on our nation image. Tourists are shocked to see plastic debris alongside our scenic routes, appalled to witness aluminum cans being thrown by car windows, revolted to find out on our magnificent beaches trash washed ashore by the sea. For these reasons they may choose to go somewhere else for their next vacations; they may also mentioned it to their friends who may not select Vanuatu as a holiday destination.
Clean-Up Port-Vila 2012 might be considered as a drop in the ocean and we all have a choice to help, but if each one of us makes a little effort Port-Vila will continue to be a gorgeous place to live and/ or visit. Come in, invite your relatives and join us in that collective action as together we can move mountains!”

Further information: For more information on Vanuatu international and local events, head to www.vanuatu.travel

Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival



Fest’Napuan’s sister festival, the Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival, will take place at Unity Park in Luganville on the 21st and 22nd of September 2012. This date, the weekend before the Fest'Napuan Festival in Port Vila, will enable overseas musicians to perform in Santo and the growing number of Santo musicians  to perform for their home audience. The Lukaotem Gud Santo festival has as its theme “Mekem i Klin mo Grin – Rispektem Land, Rispektem Kalja” (Keep it clean and green, respect our land, respect our culture). The festival emphasises environmental awareness (with activities carried out in schools and churches in the period leading up to the festival) and respect for local custom (this year there will be 175 performers from 12 different custom groups). It is intended to be a family-friendly event; alcohol and drugs are not permitted. Contact Rita, mobile no.7768550 for information. Visit fan page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lukaotem-Gud-Santo-Music-Festival/256011381168015

SS President Coolidge 70th Anniversary 19th-26th October 2012

Click on the image for PDF poster.