Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vanuatu flag flies high in the heart of Korea

Expo hikers. King (far right) and Bador (2nd from left).
The Seychelles pavilion at the mini world expo in Korea organized an Expo Mountain Hike on 26th June that highlighted the theme "Advocate healthier life and care more about our ocean and coast". The organizers invited expo booth minders to trek for a good cause and amongst the group, Sebastien Bador (VTO) and Julia King (Evergreen Tours) represented Vanuatu and not only did they trek, but they carried Vanuatu’s flag throughout the entire trek and talked about Vanuatu, its people, business and tourism attractions, and the culture to colleagues from several other pavillions namely China, Suriname, Yemen, Monaco, Indian Ocean Joint, Expo organizing Committee, and Seychelles. The VTO would like to acknowledge Team Vanuatu in Korea for their fantastic efforts in promoting Vanuatu in all expo activities.

VTO at BITE 2012, Beijing, China

The Vanuatu Tourism Office participated for the first time under the South Pacific Tourism Organisation stand along with Samoa and Tahiti, at the Beijing International Tourism Exchange from 13-18 June 2012. Vanuatu was represented by the VTO’s Marketing Manager Mr Allan Kalfabun, and by participating, this boosted destination awareness and formed ties with the retail and media industry in Beijing. During the event, the SPTO with the assistance of Pacific Island Forum Trade Office (PIFTO) organised a travel agents/sales call with each member country presentations to over 30 retail travel agents. The calibre of agents that attended were top end with product managers that worked and have existing program for Australia and New Zealand. The format of the presentation carried out by Mr Kalfabun included a ten minutes destination talk highlighting Vanuatu’s unique selling points followed by Questions and Answers. After  the presentation, Mr Kalfabun networked with the agents over tea break for about 30 minutes followed by a business card draw prize. Mr Kalfabun was excited to tap into a new market that has a huge potential to grow driven by high interest for Vanuatu by the travel trade industry in Beijing, and to top it all off Vanuatu won the award for Best Booth, and the South Pacific Islands Booth was awarded “Most Popular Booth Award”. The VTO is working on establishing contacts with our emerging markets in Asia including China/Hong Kong and Korea.

Photos: Mr Kalfabun at the award winning Vanuatu booth next to Samoa (top image), and drawing out the winning business card below.

Cruisy Christmas with Island Escape

Island Escape Cruises has released its Christmas cruise specials and bookings have already started for a festive cruise. For enquiries, bookings and general information email Visit You can also call New Zealand free 0800 58 1717, and Australia free 1800 584 869.

Lotus Day Spa's new newsletter

This week, Lotus Day Spa released its newly formatted newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter to keep everyone up to date with Lotus' latest spa specials, and exciting developments at the beauty and health care center, email and request. For more information call +678 28811 or visit

Tourism, Cultural Landscapes & Livelihoods in the South Pacific Symposium

Press release, June 28 – 29, 2012 @ Coconut Palms, Port Vila Vanuatu: The Australia & International Tourism Research Unit (AITRU) at Monash University in conjunction with the Vanuatu Department of Tourism, University of the South Pacific, Massey University and tourism industry partners is pleased to present the inaugural Symposium on Tourism, Cultural Landscapes & Livelihoods in the South Pacific June beginning today on 28 & 29, 2012.  The aim of this ‘invitation only’ Symposium is to assemble practitioners, researchers, policy makers, donors and tourism industry stakeholders to analyse the extent to which positive net benefits are accruing to islanders. The convergence of tourism, cultural landscapes and livelihoods is the key concern of this symposium.  “Unless future tourism development is driven by informed policy, based on sound longitudinal research it is difficult to know whether tourism is indeed of net-benefit to Pacific islanders.” “Day 1 will be opened by Australian High Commission to Vanuatu Charge D’Affaires Ms Charlene Watego. Day 2 will be opened by New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, H.E William Dobbie. “ This Symposium seeks to harmonise and strengthen linkages between research, policy and practice in the interest of establishing research partnerships and a long-term framework to track and substantiate tourism’s impacts and inform tourism policy accordingly. 

Some of the key questions this symposium will aim to address include:
•    To what extent have islander livelihoods benefited from the growth of tourism?
•    To what extent can cruise tourism serve as a model for livelihoods enhancement in the region?
•    How best to reconcile the traditional or kastom economy with tourism, especially the deployment of traditional land for tourism?
•    To what extent is tourism contributing to broad poverty alleviation efforts in the region?
•    Is there a case for increased donor intervention in tourism development in the region?
•    What are the most effective models for microenterprise development in tourism in the region?
•    What are the most effective models for expatriate led tourism development?
•    Is the exploitation of cultural landscapes in tourism development sustainable?
•    Are the frameworks for tourism policy in the region cognizant of sustainable livelihoods?
•    What should the revised approach to tourism development in the region be over the forthcoming decades?
•    What is the state of human resources development for tourism in the region?

Click here for background information and to view/download the program.

For more information, please contact Joseph Cheer or +613 99034097.

Nius that matters from VTOA

For 20,000vt per year, you can be a Full paid up Member of VTOA and receive the many benefits that VTOA has to offer. For New Members your pro rata Payment due for the month of June is only 11,000vt. This will bring your 2012 annual membership obligation up to date to the end of the year 31st Dec 2012. Alternatively if you do not run tours, however you are involved in tourism you can be an associate member for 10,000vt per year.
Email And join now. For those who have not renewed their VTOA membership (Vanuatu Tour Operators Association) please renew now.

Port Vila…Mascalyne…Espiritu Santos

Posted on June 26, 2012 by Pacific Voyagers: Kia Orana Tatou! Port Vila was alot of fun! It turned out that we had arrived exactly at the right time to catch an annual music festival (every 21st June) held on the waterfront and around the town area. It was organised really well, night markets in one area, food selling everywhere, and with a large variety of bands playing at different venues around the town, all within walking distance of each other, and all playing different genres! For instance, the two main areas consisted of a pavillion right on the waterfront that had bands alternating with reggae and rock music, then another stage a bit further down that was catering to the younger generation with pop and hip hop music spun by a DJ…along with dance competitions and performers! Read more.

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest 2012 Tourism Offering

By Pacific Islands Trade & Invest: Dear Tourism Colleagues, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s Tourism Promotion Program is proud to offer the following service in 2012.  The service is available to all tourism operators in the Pacific Islands who wish to promote their business online.  Please click the thumbnail to the left for more information and feel free to circulate to your tourism contacts. For further queries,  email Visit

Volcano Home side bungalow

Volcano Home side bungalow is a newly established bungalow locally owned by Mr. Sam Kahi. It is a local style bungalow located at Imaio custom village, Mt. Yasur 2KM and Fakar Waterfall 2KM. It is really a great place to enjoy your holiday, quite surrounded by tropical rain forest were you wake up in the morning the only thing you heard is beautiful sounds from the bird enlighten up your days before you begin your day.  Mr. Sam Kahi is more than happy and willing to help you out with any queries in relation to your stay to make it an enjoyable and interesting stay with the activities that he has to offer. Read more.

Pentecost Musicians come together to launch new cd and the opening of their recording studio at Tegabe

By Jenny Cowles: Bulsalvai Productions, a new company formed by a group of inspiring musicians  to create a secure future for the music industry in Vanuatu came together recently to work on a project to open a studio that had sat dormant for more than a decade.  Back in 1999, a young group of Pentecost boys had a vision to create a studio where they could all happily work from in the coming years.  They formed the band of Huarere who were hugely successful in the 90’s and early 2000 but faded away in time, as other life commitments took over. 

At their peak, they bought the grounds and built the studio, however due to lack of funds and equipment, it never quite got off the ground. Ben Siro, (now CEO of Bulsavai Productions),  local musician, singer and songwriter, who lives in the studio grounds, watched sadly as his dream seemed never to be realised.  In June last year, he decided that it was time to get this project back off the ground, so bought a computer and started to teach himself how to record and mix music. Once confident that he could do this, and with help from a few friends, he brought together a few of his island brothers, and they decided to form a company and commence a project to inject funds back into the studio. The project was to record a music cd compilation with eight of Pentecosts best musicians, each singing their own style of song. The name of this CD is Conspirators of Delight and the flavour of music is modern, contemporary, reggae and island, so a variety for all discerning ears.

All funds from the CD sales will go directly to growing the studio and providing an education centre for up and coming musicians as well as an affordable studio where anyone can come to record and develop their craft. 

They launched the CD on 8th June and had an immensely successful day, ending the celebration with the opening of the studio that evening. It is a very proud moment in this country to see our local people coming together to create a future for themselves in what can be quite a tough world.   We wish them the very best of success in the future and look forward to their many up and coming projects.  

CD’S are available at selected outlets in Port Vila or from Huarere  Studio.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Port Sandwich Art & Culture Festival: promoting Cultural Heritage and Environmental Sustainability in South Malekula

Click on image  to go to festival page on the tourism website.
In July 1774 Captain Cook landed in Port Sandwich to a friendly indigenous welcome. 238 years later, the Community of Lamap invites you to commemorate this moment in a 2 day celebration of Culture, History and Art of South Malekula. The third annual Port Sandwich Art & Cultural Festival will be held from 10-11 of August this year in the new location of Dravail Village Showground. The communities of Port Sandwich, Lamap and Dravail invite you to join them for two days of celebration, learning, cultural exchange and fun. This year the festival includes traditional dance displays from men and women’s groups, a pig-exchange ceremony, sand drawing, dramatic re-enactments of kastom stories, string bands, local skills displays, delicious organic local foods and a Kava masterclass. While the festival was originally developed in 2010 with the Yachting Community in mind it is open to all travellers interested in learning about another culture and experiencing a way of life different to their own. This year there is optional village-stay accommodation available to those guests who wish to spend the evening of the 10th with a host family and further their understanding of life in a contemporary village. The festival is once again organised by the Lamap Eco-Tourism Committee in conjunction with the local community. This proud society recognises the importance of promoting their cultural heritage and spreading awareness of environmental sustainability within the younger generation. They see eco-tourism and events such as this festival as an important part of the education process.  Adventurous, open-minded travellers looking for a truly unforgettable experience will thoroughly enjoy this two-day event. Come encounter aspects of both traditional and contemporary island life while contributing to the sustainable revitalisation of cultural and environmental heritage in Port Sandwich.

Access fess is 4000 vt per person which includes transport, two days of activities and food. The village-stay option for the night of the 10th is an additional 1000 vt per person. For more information please contact Tito (Tito (Francophone) 5436814 or Lucy (Anglophone) 5977816 or visit the Vanuau Tourism Website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reel in the wild bulls and horses!

Kiwanis Race Day Recovery Party at Tamanu

The Summit June Newsletter features Today Show

Bador (VTO) & King (Evergreen Tours) newest addition in Korea

Last week on Wednesday 13th June, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Evergreen Tours Mrs Julia King, and the Events  Manager of the VTO Mr Sebastien Bador, arrived in south Korea to join Team Vanuatu at the mini World Expo. Pictures below were taken by Bador during his first few days in Korea. More photos available viewing and downloading on facebook.

Great start for the Vanuatu Open Water Swim series 2012

Media release, 09 June 2012: The Vanuatu Open Water Swim series are currently organized for the second time by the professional local group Event Logic, with the full support of the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO). Less than 2 weeks after having organized the first Port-Vila Multiport event, Mr. Troy Spann and his dedicated team successfully ran today the Port-Vila series of the Open Water Swim 2012.  As usual the first race was the Iririki Island Swim (3,2Km) which had over 80 swimmers registered, including more than 30 international visitors. The start was given at 08.30am sharp, and the first swimmer touched the judge’s pontoon only 48’37” later. Ms Bizzy Butterworth took the first place, closely followed by Ms Shiralee Bielenberg (49’04”) and Mr. Larry Brook (49’47”).  The top two on the podium were ladies as well as the oldest participant Ms Lesley Woodland (71yo) and the youngest one Ms Bo Jacobsen (12yo). The only two Ni-Vanuatu participants registered were Mr. Allan Kalfabun (1hr03’46”) and Mr. Patrick Shing (1hr04’33”).
The Port-Vila Harbour Swim (1,5Km) was the second race, and had over 20 competitors. The first swimmer to get back on shore was Mr. Larry Brook (25’37”); he was followed by Ms Shiralee Bielenberg (25’54”) and Mr. Tony Midolo (26’23”). An exciting new sport activity was added: the ANZ Kayaks Race! 7 teams, including 2 female teams, lined up their inflatable kayaks at Port-Vila sea front and contest an exhilarating 1,5Km race. Moorings Hotel team (Justin & Kerry) get onto the top of the podium with a time of 16’42”. Tanna Teouma (Kalu & Maron) got the second place with 17’09”. Thanks to ANZ Bank nice cash prizes were given to the first 2 teams.

The next Open Water Swim series, Aore Island Swim, will take place in Espiritu Santo island on Tuesday 12th June, 2012. All the foreign competitors will take part in it.
VTO Events/ Trade & Market Research Manager, Mr. Sebastien Bador, interviewed by Mr. Paul Phelan for Paradise FM, said “It is always a pleasure for the Vanuatu Tourism Office to witness and take part in this kind of international event. The VTO does strongly believe events and festivals are major attractive drawers of overseas tourists. The VTO has been very happy to sponsor the Open Water Swim 2012 trophies and local organizers domestic tickets to Espiritu Santo island. The VTO also encourages Ni-Vanuatu people to take part in these activities as it is a way to socialize with our foreign visitors.”

The VTO would like to warmly thank the organizers, Event Logic, and the other sponsors for supporting the Vanuatu Open Water Swim series: Air Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo Tourism Association, Moorings Hotel, and Tusker.  

For more information on Vanuatu Open Water Swim series go to:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

All new and exciting for Vanuatu and New Caledonia

Martine Robin (left) and Jackie Kalo (right) of VTO
To maintain the ongoing relationship in tourism between Vanuatu and New Caledonia, VTO's New Caledonian rep Ms Martine Robin continues to be busy in growing her current market as well as discovering & enticing new and potential markets. Ms Robin's latest discovery is the Goro Nickel miners and workers whom have shown great interest in putting Vanuatu as their next holiday escape. This discovery happened when Martine decided to organize a Vanuatu Night 2 weeks ago with the help of the Goro Nikel Mines onsite Communication office. There's over 4,000 expatriates working on the mine sites on a two-year contract, including other nationalities such as the Filipinos, Canadians, Americans and European who came and showed great interest of definitely penning down Vanuatu for their next holidays. The workers were pleasantly surprised to know how very close Vanuatu was to New Caledonia and many were enquiring about a 4 to 5 days holidays in Vanuatu. The activities and presentation on Vanuatu that evening included a video footage on Vanuatu, a taste of the islands from a well decorated room that had all its posts and walls covered with woven coconut leaves, plants, Vanuatu flags, a curry night with a Vanuatu specialty after dinner, string bands, cultural performances, and a large information booth set up with brochures, maps and holiday packages including airfare transfers and accommodation by Eden tours, Unitours and Axxess travel. Ms Martine Robin was assisted by Mrs Jacquie Kalo, VTO's Administration Officer.
Future plans: Because of this success, a similar event will be organized at the North Nickel mine site later in the year. Vanuatu currently has a promotion running from end of April right up to end of June at the Goro Mine site. Later this month, there will be an agent's famil to Vanuatu for AXXESS Travel, and on 10th to 12th August, VTO will be busy at the Bourail Trade Fair which receives a total of 25,000 visitors in 3 days. Vanuatu Tourism will be the Guest of Honor, and will have a large booth that will display special holiday packages to Vanuatu. The office will organize cultural performances, string bands, and it's going to be VTO's first time to be reaching the northern province of New Caledonia. Vanuatu Tourism will then be attending the International trade fair in Nouméa from the 4 to the 7th October just before Week Blong Vanuatu in mid November.

Tanna Lepilmai waterfall launches

Tafea Tourism Council: Tafea Tourism council has achieved another milestone achievement on the 7th of June 2012. Iepilmai water fall has been a great Tourist attraction in the late 90’s. Today the Ipeilmai communities have encountered a big achievement when the initiative was being implemented by the young men in the Village to take up the lead in reestablishing a major attraction in the late 90’s of Tanna Island.
The Ceremony was attended by the Secretary of Tafea Province Ms. Ketty  Napwatt, Chair lady of Tafea Tourism Council Ms. Merian Numake, Mr. Rodney David Department of Cooperative, Mr. Joseph Wambugu Project Facilitator and Tafea Tourism Council members.
Ms. Ketty Napwatt Secretary General of Tafea Province mention during her speech that communities members should not depend on the national government to provide for their needs. That is the best thing you managed to encounter to take the lead in developing your areas or any communities needs, the National government or Provincial Government can only assists or give them assistance in what has already been done by the communities.
After that ceremony Iepilmai Waterfall is now open to any Tourist who wishes to visit Tanna and it natural attraction.

Unelco extension launch at White Grass Tanna Airport

By Tafea Tourism Council: The 29th of June 2012 will be remembered by the people of Tanna and Tafea province as a whole when the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Hon. Sato Kilman, and his delegation official launched the second phase of the Unelco Project, starting from Lowanatom catholic Mission to White Grass Airport.  It has been a great achievement for the people of Tanna and Tafea province  to officially witness for the first time, lights being switched on at White grass airport.  Tourism as a major contributor to the revenue of this country, has also achieved another dream come true, when the PM turned on the lights at White grass airport, to indicate that surely after this milestone journey, Tafea will be receiving international flights via Tanna White grass airport from neighboring countries such as New Caledonia and elsewhere, not only that but also domestic flights can now happen in the evenings. The people of Tafea would like to acknowledge Unelco Company Ltd and the Ministry of Infrastructure under the lead of Hon. Prime Minister Kilman for  making it possible for Tanna Whitegrass airport to be completed with lights in order to further the opportunities of having international Flights into and out of Tanna. Photo of Government official arriving on Tanna led by the Honorable Prime Minister seen here shaking hands with stakeholders.

Pacific Jewel to arrive in Vila on Sunday

South Sea Shipping release:  Due to weather constraints, the Pacific Jewel has rescheduled to arrive in Port Vila on Sunday 17th June. It was supposed to have arrived on Wednesday 13 June.

Surfside on Breakas Beach launches media campaign

Media release: With upgrades and renovations complete at Surfside we have taken to the airwaves in Australia with a 3 month media campaign with Imparja TV, a 3 month media program with Travel Daily and advertising with Holidays with Kidz in print and on-line and the launch of a Stay 7 Pay 5 special for the remainder of the 2012/13 year.   We are excited about these initiatives that put more of Vanuatu in the public eye leading up to the winter season.  We look forward to welcoming all overseas participants to Tok Tok at Surfside.  We are excited at the changes we have made and the transition from adults only back to a Family Friendly property has been very well received.

Air Vanuatu introduces Fiji Flights

Chief Executive Officer of Air Vanuatu Joseph Laloyer has announced a weekly service to Suva, Fiji will commence in July. “We’re really excited to be operating our own direct service to Suva on Sundays. The new flights will complement our code-share services currently operated by Air Pacific on Tuesdays and Saturdays to Nadi,” he said. Mr. Laloyer said Air Vanuatu saw a market for Fiji-Vanuatu business and student travelers with no carrier offering direct services between the two capital cities. “Many business travelers have been forced to either drive between Nadi and Suva, or catch a domestic flight at great expense. Not to mention the extra time it takes to get home; with Air Vanuatu fares starting at just 42,140vt return, we are confident the flights will be a success.” Mr. Laloyer said the airline’s ATR-72 aircraft would operate the new flights. “The 68 seat ATR is the perfect aircraft to operate the short service.” Director of CAAV Mr. Joseph Niel presented Air Vanuatu with their Extended range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) certificate on Thursday, allowing Air Vanuatu to operate the Suva service. ETOPS allows twin engine aircraft (such as the ATR-72) to fly long distance routes with a diversion time of more than 75 minutes. “Approval to conduct ETOPS is granted by CAAV after consideration of various factors including type design (airframe/engine combination), the operator’s in-service experience and propulsion,” Mr. Niel said. “Before granting ETOPS, CAAV thoroughly checked maintenance, operational and training manuals to ensure activities the airline planned to undertake were sufficient to support this type of operation. “The compliance checks began in 2010, so it has been an extensive exercise,” Mr. Niel said. The new Fiji service will depart Port Vila at 0730, arriving in to Suva at 1100 local time. The return flight departs Fiji at 1200, arriving in to Vila at 1330.

 Media inquiries: Tiffany Carroll Tel +678 7747153 email

Blokart and Vanuatu Helicopter's fun trades

By Blokart Vanuatu: Some very stormy weather over the last few days! Yesterday was classic , strong gusty winds and heavy sea`s closed most seafront and water based activities. Two operators working together as a team ensured customer bookings continued as planned. Vanuatu Helicopters ran their operation from the Blokart site using our site for landings and take offs.  Their customers enjoyed our hospitality and also enjoyed participating and watching sailing on our track. We`ve been having some great sailing conditions over the last two months. The tropical trade winds have now settled in and we`ve had lots of customers enjoying Blokart. We are open Monday to Saturday and will take bookings for Sunday sailing. Give us a call for a demonstration/ famil tour / sailng session. For more information, call Andrew Forrester at Blokart Vanuatu on phone +678 7786056.  Email

Vanuatu Experience Makes a Splash with Discerning Anglers!

Media Enquiries - Contact David Noble +61 2 8572 4777 or

Photos taken during Vanuatu Ocean Swim 2012 – Port Vila, Saturday 9th June. Images supplied by Event Logic 2012

Click on the image to enlarge.

Vanuatu hosts ACP EU meeting this week at Warwick

The 95th session of the ACP Council of Ministers meeting runs until June 13 before the 37th session of the Joint ACP-EU Council of Ministers Meeting is held, from June 14-15. Because of this global event which is the biggest that Vanuatu has ever hosted, the Government of Vanuatu together with Board and Management of Warwick Le Lagon Resort, has built a new conference centre “Fare Pasifika” which is the largest in Vanuatu and can accommodate up to 900 participants and can be divided into 2 large rooms.

Lady Pros line up for Vanuatu Golf Open 2012

Press Release 11th June 2012, story 1: For the first time in the 26 year history of the Vanuatu Golf Open the 2012 event will boast a small field of Lady Professionals. The PGA in Australia has confirm a minimum of 6 ladies will compete in this year’s event and they will play alongside about amateur ladies and a field of some 100 amateur men and professionals. Preparation for the event this year are well in hand with all sponsor agreements in place and the course now being groomed for the event which is but 2 months away. Local player are being encouraged to enter early for the event and entries received prior to 30th June 2012 will be eligible to win a free entry into the 2013 event if they are lucky enough to take out their division in this year’s event. As had been the case over the past 2 years the event will be played over 4 days from 16/19 August. The men’s A grade will play four rounds of stroke play whilst the men’s B & C grades will play stableford each day for daily and overall prizes. Thanks to the wonderful support of the naming sponsor Tusker the professional men will be competing for AUD$50,000 which make the event one of the premier South pacific tour events of the year. Other sponsors supporting the event are: Holiday inn Resort, Palms Casino, Club 21 Casino, Air Vanuatu, Freight Logistics, Sign Language, Caillard and Cadour (C&K), TVL, Club Car International, Elite Business Merchandise, Geoffrey Gee & Partners, Asco Motors. Organising Committee Chairman, Bryan Death, paid tribute to the support of all sponsors in a year that has been difficult for most companies. Bryan added that many returning groups of amateurs would ensure that a good sized field lined up for the 2012 event. Like all major spoprti8ng events the VGO pumps valuable money in Vanuatu’s economy and gives the destination a higher profile internationally. For more information contact: Bryan Death Chairman VGO. Phone +6785577034. Email :

Jessica Mauboy to perform at Kiwanis Horse Race in Vila, 14th July

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stevie in Vanuatu

Australia’s funny weatherman Steve Jacobs.
Steve Jacobs and the Today Show weather team from Channel Nine in Australia are in Vanuatu filming live weather broadcasts every morning this week.  Six live broadcasts each morning is showcasing Vanuatu and we have already seem them filming from The Summit Gardens on Monday, Leweton Custom & Cultural Village on Tuesday and from Ratua Private Island this morning. Next they go back to Efate and film from Lelapa Island and then the final broadcast will include volleyball action at Hideaway.
This week long broadcast will reach over 1.4 million viewers per day around Australia and the VTO would like to extend thanks to all partners involved in making this happen.

Thumbs up Vanuatu!

Com.General Linda Kalpoi, 2nd from left. Team Vanuatu
Expo 2012, Yeosu South Korea Press Release No. 4 25 May – 04 June: The Yeosu Expo is already becoming a success story in providing an opportunity to enhance the international community’s perception of the function and value of the ocean and coast, share knowledge on the proper use of the ocean and coast and recognize the need for cooperation in the marine sector. It will also serve as a venue to learn about the achievements of and future models for the marine sector and offer a valuable chance to promote state-of-the-art marine science and technology and marine industries. The USA Pavilion engages guests with a three-part multi-dimensional experience designed to inspire people to take action for a brighter future. Welcoming guests at the entrance is an awe-inspiring giant water screen with video images projected on its shifting surface, including welcome messages from President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and USA Pavilion Chief Spokesperson Philippe Cousteau Jr. Guests continue to a theater to view a large-screen multimedia presentation that showcases the unique relationships the American people have with the United States’ diverse marine environments and the United States’ hopes for engaging people worldwide in protecting and conserving the ocean that connects us all. Last weekend the Commissioner General of Vanuatu Mrs Linda Kalpoi had the opportunity to Visit the US Pavilion including the Kazakhstan Pavilion whom they are bidding for the next mini world expo to be held in Astana in 2017. Part of this visitation now opens bilateral dialogue not only for Vanuatu but for the Pacific Countries as well since Mrs Kalpoi is also the Commissioner General (CG) for the Pacific Pavilion in this mini world expo representing 16 countries. Mrs Kalpoi’s visit was also to make final preparation towards Vanuatu’s Expo National Day which falls on the 30th of July. She stated that this is Vanuatu’s golden opportunity where Vanuatu needs to capitalize in it. During her visit Mrs Kalpoi was interviewed by media representatives since Vanuatu is getting recognition from the ‘Law of the Jungle’ series which is attracting a lot of attention from the SBS viewers. She continued to say this exposition is like an opportunity for the international community to clearly understand the role of the ocean and coast as well as the challenge facing humanity caused by the reckless development of the ocean and coast. Seen at Expo site was, Park Ji-sung Korea’s Soccer hero and the Retouramont, a French vertical dance group. Retouramont’s show is consisted of artistic dance moves created by human bodies hanging from the ceiling and philosophical messages presented to the audience throughout the performance. The Commissioner General also attended Cambodia’s National Day and commented that the Vanuatu Expo Team is doing an exceptional performance to continue outshining Vanuatu in this world’s international event. Thumbs up Vanuatu!!

Mystical, magical, serene at The Summit

By Alcina Charlie, Website & E-Marketing Officer VTO: On Friday 1st June, I went on a famil that took me to the pink and blue heart of Vanuatu’s very own wonderland, tucked just before Benjor Resort. Throughout the tour, the experience was mystical and magical at the same time, serene, and The Summit proved to be a place of peace and tranquillity as we walked through the garden trails surrounded by lush vegetation like a rainbow of flora, bamboos, ferns, succulents, and many more treasures. When we arrived at the top of atop, we drove towards the bright purple ticketing booth to be met by Katrina our chatty guide who took us through Efate’s slice of paradise which was the biggest tropical garden that I have visited, and also known to be largest in the South Pacific. Our first stop was at the Summit’s distillery. Here, we were fascinated to see how the house was abuzz with highly skilled workers making The Summits very own colourful and scented candles, and health & beauty products ranging from body soap, oils to lip balms. We caught a glimpse of Neppy’s work station, Neppy is the master of all mosaic at The Summit. When I asked if we can buy these beautiful candles, oils, and beauty products, Katrina replied that we’ll get to the answer at the end of the tour. There and then, I could tell that The Summit was already getting into me.  When we left the distillery, our journey meandered through a dazzling variety of colourful flora, with thousands of different species originating from all over the world, including Vanuatu’s own species. We enjoyed the exuberant displays of water plants, succulents, orchids, palms and cycads, vines, creepers, nut and fruit trees, to name only a few. Kathy inspired us with her wealth of knowledge as she led us through the gardens, passing the meditation points, lookout stops, and an anecdotal “the missionary position” with a custom story twist to the name that caused a few giggles. When I asked Katrina when most of the flowers blossom to spoil the eye, she said “Our gardens remain colourful all year round but the best time to catch  them in full bloom would be around November to January”. There were 11 to 12 named gardens that we visited all very unique & distinct in their own area, spreading over 10 hectares unfolding as a series of surprises as you follow the pathways. The designs were inspired by the tropical gardens of Asia, Australia and America which started off as a hobby to its owners back in 2000 and became a driving ambition to create something beautiful that would showcase the beauty of Vanuatu and its people. The owners were assisted by a tropical landscape architect called Adam Ehlmann who was resident in Port Vila at the time. Adam departed Vanuatu in 2002 and the owners carried on themselves with the assistance of teams of very talented Ni-Vanuatu gardeners. The gardens were opened to the public last year in November. After passing the Macademia and Cashew plots from which nuts have already been harvested to add to the Summit’s menu of flavoursome variety of desserts & dishes, we arrived at the beautiful colonial style stone cottage which houses The Summit Café and Gift Shop, built by Ni-Vanuatu craftsmen from timber and limestone sourced from The Summit plantations. At nearly 200m above sea level, with clear blue skies, surrounded by aromatic gardens, a spectacular view overlooking the entire Mele Bay and Hideaway island, and to top it all off the ocean breeze brushing lightly against my face, nothing could beat a scrumptious Farmer’s seafood platter which ended my day magnificently at The Summit. Katrina gave us a little gift pack and before we left,  the Managing Director Mr Jim Batty, and Head of Operations Ms Carlene Martin, met us and asked how the experience went. I said that it will make a great piece for Island Nius and after an exchange of thanks and goodbyes, it was time to drive down the winding road and head back into town. On behalf of the group who came on the famil and the VTO, I would like to congratulate and thank the staff and management of The Summit, a spectacular tour and we look forward to working closely together to promote Vanuatu further abroad. Images taken on the day can be viewed by clicking here.

Vanuatu Chefs represented in South Korea

Media release, Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association: It seems it is all happening in South Korea this year! Vanuatu Chefs & Food Handlers Association President Sarah Kymbrekos was recently in the City of Daejeon, South Korea to attend the 35th World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) World Congress in May. WACS was established in Paris in 1928, to support & represent Chefs around the world. WACS now has 93 member countries representing over 10 Million Chefs worldwide.  Invited to attend by the Australian Culinary Federation – Sarah met with trade representatives & many of the world’s Finest Chefs including Chef Anton Mosimann – the Chef who catered to the Royal Wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton & The Queens 60th Jubilee this week. There was much interest shown in Vanuatu by Chefs and Industry representatives from all around the world.  Helping create global awareness of Vanuatu’s Chefs, cuisine and colorful mix of international culinary influences. 
Above images left to right: Sarah with Chef Anton Mosimann. Vanuatu On the world stage at the opening ceremony. World record attempt of most chefs gathered in one place whilst at the Congress – 2000+ of them!

Bred Banque Salon Culinaire secures Pacific Rim Challenge

Media release, Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association: Exciting Industry News! – The Bred Bank Salon Culinaire has dates announced. The annual culinary arts & hospitality show will take place from the 30th of October through to the 02nd November this year. In 2012 there are two exciting additions to the competition format to announce also! Whilst in Korea at WACS Congress – the Vanuatu Chefs Association tendered to host the Pacific Rim Challenge - A competition between member countries within the Pacific Rim Continent of WACS. It went to ballot and it was voted unanimously to be held in Vanuatu! Given the success of the Vanuatu show last year all Pacific members were keen to get involved. This international competition will run alongside the National Salon Culinaire at the end of October. This will see Culinary teams (consisting of the best Chefs of the nations participating) travelling to Vanuatu to compete in a “Masterchef” style competition to see who will be crowned Culinary Champions of the Pacific. Vanuatu will be hosting teams from Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand and possibly the Cook Islands. Alongside the teams & managers the Salon Culinaire will be hosting the Pacific Continental Director Mr Glenn Austin of WACS along with the Presidents of the New Zealand Chefs Association, Australian Culinary Federation and Micronesian Chefs Association from Guam as well as a number of international judges. This is very exciting for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry here in Vanuatu and will make our premier industry event bigger than ever before. The Salon includes within its many competitions – The Cocktail maker of the year, Housekeeper of the year, Vanuatu Chef of the year, and the hotly contested Origin Cup – Mystery Box Team Challenge . The other exciting announcement is that of the International Barista Competition, - After a successful National competition was held at the Seafront stage late last month  – the top 5 Ni-Vanuatu place getters will be going up against International competitors at the VCLA’s International event that is part of the Salon Culinaire Week. The Vanuatu Chefs & Food Handlers Association welcomes the Vanuatu Coffee Lovers Association to the Salon Culinaire and looks forward to great event. For more information contact or phone +678 7745469. Above images left to right: Iririki’s Alick Abel competing in the Origin Energy Cup, The Bred Bank Salon Culinaire Show grounds between Moorings & Chantillys Hotels, Vanuatu Chef of the Year 2011 -  Holiday Inn’s Bill Leonardo with his prize.

Vanuatu National Barista Competition A Great Success

Media release, Vanuatu Coffee Lovers Association: Exciting Hospitality Industry News! The Newly Formed Vanuatu Coffee Lovers Association held the National Barista Competition on the 24th- 25th of May. Thirty Barista’s entered into the competition and over the two days produced a stunning array of signature coffees and a standard cappuccino & espresso to be judged on quality standards. Technique was also monitored and participants were scored on overall performance - taste, technique & presentation. Ken Kaltapau of Iririki Island Resort was announced Winner and Florence Mala of Chantillys on the Bay a very close second. 3rd place went to Margareth Daniel of the Brewery Bar, 4th to Florence Thomas of Holiday Inn and Marianna Tuman who sponsored herself into the competition - a well deserved 5th place. These five individuals will now go into intensive training to take on International Competitors who will travel to Vanuatu to compete at the Vanuatu International Barista Competition taking place during the Bred Banque Salon Culinaire Week at the end of October & early November. A big thank you to Terry Adlington from the Tanna Coffee Development Co who provided machines & equipment for the competition and to Vila Distribution & Vittoria Coffee for the major prize. Enquiries to Marc Warin on .  Above image (first, left): Mariana Tuman, Margareth Daniel of the Brewery Bar, Marc Warin of APTC, Ken Kaltapau of Iririki Barista Champion 2012, Florence Thomas of Holiday Inn and Florence Mala of Chantilly’s on the Bay.

Prize winner from Noumea over the moon with holiday in Vanuatu

Media Release, Joanne Wade : Vanuatu has been officially described as one of the happiest places on Earth, and the big smiles from prize winners, Madam and Monsieur Perez left no doubt. Madame Nicole Perez was the lucky winner of a week’s holiday in Vanuatu drawn at the special Vanuatu promotion held in Noumea  a few weeks ago.  On arriving at Poppys on the Lagoon, the happy couple expressed their delight in winning such a wonderful prize. Guest Relations Supervisor, Mr Albert Sapoa who had represented Poppys on the Lagoon and Friendly Bungalows at the Noumea promotion, greeted the couple on their arrival. “Their first impression when they arrived at the resort was very good, I could see it from their eyes and smiles. They were surprised of the location, garden, rooms and warmness and genuine  welcome from the staff, I was very pleased their first view of Vanuatu was so very positive” said Mr Sapoa. The lucky couple spent their stay at Poppys enjoying their complimentary massages, kayaking on the Lagoon and dining in the Poppys Banana Leaf Café overlooking the peaceful Erakor Lagoon. Poppys award winning gardens took their eye and Madame Perez was found taking photos at every opportunity of the lush gardens and flowers, perhaps more tropical than generally found in the Noumea surrounds. Most telling, and most rewarding,  was their decision to extend their stay, cancelling other plans on favour of a few more days at Poppys and a few more days in Paradise. The prize to Vanuatu was the initiative of the Management and the staff of Vanuatu Tourism Office and Madame Perez won the winning draw during the Mini-Toktok in Noumea on the 23rd of March 2012. Poppys on the Lagoon and Friendly Bungalows are happy and proud to support this initiative, and can see the benefits for the genuine promotion of tourism by showcasing the best Vanuatu has to offer. Congratulations to all concerned. Top image: Madame Perez and husband at Poppys with Managing director Peter Rottevele, and Albert. Bottom: Albert Sapoa representing Poppys at the Vanuatu Tok Tok in Noumea.

VTO features in Travel Daily, Wednesday 30th May 2012

Vanuatu Tour Operators Association at ACP EU Meeting

Media release June 9, 2012: Since the Annual General Meeting in April, the VTOA Executive has been encouraging all tour Operators who are not yet members of their Association to join. The results have been gratifying, and the VTOA welcomes Aquaventures Ltd, Air Safaris, Belleview Adventure Ranch, Island Time Kayaking, Neava Tours, Sandy Beach Tours, Trek Vanuatu, and Vanuatu Game Fishing as new Members. The executive is excited about the opportunity extended to the VTOA to have a presence at next weeks’ African Caribbean Pacific/European Union (ACP/EU) Conference to be held at Le Lagon Resort and Spa. The VTOA will be joining the Department of Tourism, Vanuatu Tourism Office and the VHRA to showcase our destination during the international meeting scheduled for next week. The Executive is calling for members who may be able to spare some time manning the booth to please contact Tony on

Plans continue for the VTOA’s involvement in Tok Tok Vanuatu 2012, with a number of members coming forward to offer tours, free of charge, to the visiting wholesalers who will be visiting Vanuatu in August. Whilst wholesalers usually choose not to buy direct from individual tour operators, the President of VTOA, Tony Houlahan, says “this is an important item in the yearly calendar of events held in Vanuatu, and is an excellent opportunity to promote what our members have to offer in the way of tours & activities – lots of “must do” things to increase the enjoyment of our visitors to Vanuatu”. The VTOA can be contacted by sending an email to Charmaine at   or by phoning Tony on +678 7778561.

Vibrant Vanuatu

The Weekend Today show on Channel Nine in Australia travelled to Vanuatu in May and filmed at the Mount Yasur volcano and in surrounding villages. The presenter Cameron Williams highlighted Vanuatu and the natural icon on Tanna to Australian viewers and remarked that it is a place that all should go and visit. View footage here.

Sportfishing Vanuatu – Dogtooth, Spooled Reels & Beaten Anglers!

Posted by Ocean Blue on Monday, June 4, 2012:  Day 1: Quick run to our first mark & as soon as the jigs were dropped the boys hooked into some solid dogtooth, got cut off on a few wahoo (landing 1) & pulled in a couple of reef sharks… Welcome to Vanuatu!! View more.

Evergreen Vanuatu Airport Hotel transfer services

Evergreen is Vanuatu’s leading Inbound and indigenous tour Operator. Evergreen runs half/full day tours and transfer services all around Port Vila. It is 100% locally run and owned . Evergreen has established a network which covers Vanuatu’s major touristic islands. It is only natural that as the largest indigenous tour operator in Vanuatu, Evergreen has the inside knowledge on the best spots to see throughout Vanuatu and this fact coupled with an intimate knowledge of local custom and culture make them naturally the choice of visitors seeking the real Vanuatu that most visitors cannot see. View more.

Pialo Small Kastom Village Bungalows

The Pialo Small Kastom Village bungalows are situated in Big Nambas Territory in the Northwest of Malekula, near Tenmaru. Traditionally built using local materials and it’s close to”the Pialo spirit cave”. View more.

Manbush Trail

An intrepid guided trek through the jungle interior of Vanuatu’s fabled Malekula Island.  A 5-day tour on the iconic Manbush Trail as described in lonely planet and by visiting film crews. Your own Manbush guide will introduce you to t Manbush life and stories. You will pass through bush villages and see how people today still practice many of their ancient ways of life.  Travel in a circuit by truck, foot and boat from Norsup/Lakatoro down the east coast and back up the west coast.  View more.