Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vanuatu Students Aid Association (ALV) at Foire de Bourail 2012

The annual extremely popular New-Caledonia event "Foire de Bourail" was held from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August, 2012. This year was the 7th event, and high-school students from the "Aide aux Lyceens Vanuatuais" association assisted and supported in piqueting. The youth were supervised during the whole length of the operation by Brother Jean-Paul Delesalle, Treasurer of the association, and Mr Alain Funel, Chairman. Thg group continuously picked up rubbish and cleaned the massive venue which received 17,000 visitors in 3 days. This year there was a delegation from Vanuatu delegation, led by the Vanuatu Tourism Office representative for the New-Caledonia market, Mrs. Martine Robin, and Information Officer, Ms Michaela Rory. Amongst the delegation was the legendary Vanuatu artist as Mrs. Juliette Pita, and Torotua string band (pictured above) who rocked the a huge crowd playing Vanuatu island rhythms. Also accompanying the delegation were several Vanuatu associations, Noumea-based, who were excited to promote Vanuatu national dishes and delicacies such as laplap and tuluk.

Vanuatu Tourism Office nominated for Outstanding Tourism Organisation

Media release 13 August 2012:  Vanuatu has made an impression with Australian travel writers and has been nominated for the Most Outstanding Tourism Organisation award in the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) annual awards held in October. Vanuatu has been nominated alongside Tourism Tasmania, Canadian Tourism, South Africa Tourism and Tourism Victoria and this nomination is testament to the PR efforts of head office and Australian office in generating positive coverage for Vanuatu in print, online and TV. The awards will be held at the ASTW AGM which is taking place in Indonesia this year at the end of October - only the ASTW members can vote. Over the past 12 months alone Vanuatu has supported many Australian film crews with the Today Show weather team, Weekend Today, SBS Island Feast, and soon The Living Room on Channel 10.  Other PR activities have included print journalist media famils, promotions on TV and in print, supplying copy to journalists, monthly consumer and trade press releases and supporting events. The positive PR coverage has generated a wide variety of coverage supporting the sales and marketing activity in Australia.  From January to June this year we have already seen a +15% in arrivals from Australia compared to the same period in 2011.

New online training for Australian travel agents

Vanuatu Tourism Office Australia has launched its new online training programme this week. Every agent who successfully completes the modules 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 to the agent page to link through to the online training page which is run by Your Workshops. Through this training, agents will learn that Vanuatu offers a perfect balance of beach resort style relaxation, authentic cultural discovery and stunning geographic beauty, with endless soft adventure activities for couples and families alike.
At the end of each module agents have to answer questions correctly and those agents who successfully complete the programme by 15 October 2012 will become a Vanuatu Expert and entered into the draw to win a spot on a famil, which is taking place at the end of November 2012.

Unity Airlines introduces new Trislander

Unity Airlines is introducing its new air craft "The Spirit of Berther Bobbins" a Trislander  with plenty of leg room (more than  373 business class) and space for bags and freight. Every Friday, Trislander will be freighting goods such as fresh garden produce from Tanna to be sold at the  Vila markets. The Air craft have just recently had a full re-fit  with new engines and props. Its 3 engine design makes it one of the safest  air craft to fly in and can carry twice the load of its twin engine little brother, see left image. All flights are in multi-engine air craft  for added safety over the  open ocean sections.

Day trips price is 36,900Vt.  Overnight rates are as follows:  Lenakel Cove Bungalows at 42,900Vt per person: Breakfast & Dinner included. Tanna Evergreen accommodation 46,900Vt per person: Breakfast & Dinner included and White grass Ocean Resort at 55,900Vt: Dinner not included.
The Prices includes hotel pick up and returns in Vila, Flights to Tanna, Volcano entrance and the 4x4 Safari and breakfast on Tanna.  Flights usually depart at 13:00 and retune at 10:00 the next day but we can be flexible.  Email for more information.

Wan Smol Bag opens new Pottery Studio

Wan Smolbag has opened a brand new Pottery Studio and youths have been working hard over the past few months to learn the skills of pottery and to produce a number of beautiful master pieces and work of art that are now on sale for locals and visitors alike.  Wan Smolbag Theatre is a non-government organisation based in Vanuatu but operating all over the South Pacific. WSB started as a group of 15 voluntary actors in 1989, then 5 paid actors, and the organization celebrated 20 years in 2009 and now have a staff of around 100 full- and part-time staff and over 400 volunteers working in vast areas empowering youth. Visit for details.

Click on left image to enlarge and view full PDF (2 pgs).

Apera Lenai Beach Bungalow

Lenai Apera Beach Bungalow is locally owned by Mr Peter and His Wife Helen. It is located alone the costal area closed to the sea, and on the western side of the Island were all business activities occur, and it is just 5-10Minutes drive to Lenakel Town and 5Minutes to Isangle. Read more.

Vanuatu Jungle Zipline

Vanuatu Jungle Zipline is an action packed adventure tour. Get strapped into your harness and zip four stories high through the lush, cool  treetops, witness edge of the world views across Mele Bay and Port Vila Harbour, dare to cross the 80 meter high canyon, wobble across two suspension bridges and return high above a waterfall. Read more.

Surfside on Breakas Beach

Surfside on Breakas Beach - Vanuatu is a stunning group of exclusive beach front villas. Fully SELF CONTAINED and FAMILY FRIENDLY, you will be able to get away and truly unwind in paradise. Our accommodation comprises of 3 bedroom Villas and 1 bedroom studio apartments with private plunge pools and king-size ensuite rooms with absolute beachfront views, in one of Port Vila's best locations for that ultimate tropical experience. All Villas and Studios are self-catering with private pools with our Deluxe Ocean Front Hotel rooms a very generous king size with private ensuit, fridge and tea and coffee making facilities. Read more.

Paradise Found in Vanuatu

Elisabeth Easther discovers these peaceful Pacific islands. Fancy a change from the Pacific Island holiday spots that Kiwis usually choose for a sunny break? Then hop on a flight to the exotic archipelago of Vanuatu. With accommodation and activities to suit all tastes and budgets, it has something for everyone. Boasting palm-fringed, white sand beaches, the waters surrounding the islands teem with aquatic life. For divers, there are coral reefs and numerous curiosities left over from World War II. There are dugongs (sea mammals related to manatees), waterfalls and hot springs, and even a couple of live volcanoes for those who like their holidays to go with a bang. The local essence combines Melanesian and French customs to great effect.  Read more.

Apology - Islandtime Magazine correct email contact & promotion opportunity

The Island Nius publisher apologizes for any trouble caused due to publishing an incorrect email address in last week’s issue. The correct email address for Islandtime Magazine publisher, Fran McDermott, is for further queries. The magazine is the only South Pacific trade publication in New Zealand with a strong distribution and readership. Scott Lee will be attending Tok Tok and he will be traveling around from there and will be writing a feature article to be published in the Sept/Oct issue of Islandtime.
You can view Islandtime on

Carribean Night - Au Peche Mignon

Rotary Golf Day 25th August 2012

This year, Rotary club of Port Vila is proud to dedicate their Golf Day to the financing of a project concerning disabled people of Vanuatu. This project will be presented in detail to you during this wonderful day. All sponsors are welcome to help us to finance this project by either a cash donation or by offering a prize for the raffle that will be drawn at the end of the day. All golfers and non-golfers, Rotarians and non-Rotarians are invited to be present for this day of fun and friendship.

Forms:  Click here if you want to sponsor. Click Here to participate.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tok Tok Vanuatu in good shape

ANZ Bank Management hands over 1million vatu to Tok Tok Committee Chairperson and members Thomas Tait, Linda Kalpoi and Allan Kalfabun.
The days are counting down before Vanuatu enters another exciting Tok Tok which will commence on 28th August and end on 31st. This week, the event’s major sponsor, ANZ Bank, handed over its sponsorship of 1 million vatu to the Tok Tok Committee pledging its continuous support and loyalty towards the development of the tourism industry in Vanuatu. The handing over ceremony took place on Wednesday 8th August and was witnessed by members of the  Tok Tok committee, ANZ management and media reps. President of the committee, Mr Thomas Tait of Holiday Inn Resort, acknowledged ANZ for their ongoing support towards Tok Tok which is the 11th event since its establishment in 2001.  Confirmed for this year's event are 88 buyers from over 50 international companies from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Europe, and the USA, 105 sellers from 68 local tourism companies, and 9 overseas media reps from Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. This year’s Tok Tok has been twisted into a Mega Famil and the industry are thrilled over the new concept which extends to 4 days allowing buyers to travel to Tanna and Espiritu Santo to visit the accommodations as well as experiencing tours, with an option of Malekula as pre and post on the itinerary. The VTO is working closely with the Tafea Tourism Council, Espiritu Santo Tourism Association, and Malampa Travel Centre in finalizing the outer islands itineraries. The Marketing Manager remarks, “The industry has responded well with the new concept with the core focus of having the buyers experience our products to add to their confidence in selling Vanuatu as a preferred destination choice. And to touch base with our branding exercise which is to 'discover what matters', we want to allow our buyers experience in order to discover our fantastic range of products”. For more information on Tok Tok, contact Allan Kalfabun on

Vanuatu ties with Santa Fe Art Festival, New Mexico, USA

The Vanuatu Tourism Office handed over a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the Vanuatu Government, acknowledging the organizers of the Folk Art Santa Fe festival for Vanuatu’s participation, on 22nd July 2012. The certificate was handed over by Ms Linda Kalpoi, the General Manager of the VTO, to the Director Artist Relations Mr Ernesto Torres, pictured top left. This annual event attracts around 50,000 people to Santa Fe, New Mexico and offers art work and crafts from over 100 countries. The VTO would like to acknowledge Sue Herrick, VTO rep in USA together with well-known journalist and photographer Judie and Paul for their support and asisstance towards Vanuatu's participation at the festival.

Celebrating Vanuatu in Korea a huge success

Performing "Vanuatu Paradise" at Expo Hall
 By Alcina Charlie: Vanuatu stood out with a big bang at Yeosu Expo in Korea, rippling numbers in the thousands propping up to the Vanuatu booth to discover Vanuatu as a special holiday and business & investment destination. I arrived in Yeosu as VTO staffer and as well as an entertainer to sing the National Anthem and several of my compositions I wrote on Vanuatu. It felt good singing with dignity and I guess the highlight of it all was wearing my red Ambae mat and Tanna grass-skirt on the day promoting my island and cultural heritage.
Departing Vila on 24th July, I arrived in Yeosu, south Korea 2 nights later via Sydney, then Seoul which was a total of 16hours of flight time. I travelled with the entertainers, 2 expo committee members, and the Commissioner General Linda Kalpoi. On board Asiana airlines, I was already getting a taste of what to expect in Korea; healthy fresh sea food, warm hospitality, and multitudes of great singers - yes the Korean pop channel had me hooked the entire 11 hours from Sydney to Seoul and back.
Photo shoot after performance at Expo Hall.
 I was met by Nick Issachar, Expo Booth Manager and Coordinator, when I arrived in Yeosu who then promptly took me to expo town where I was going to be accommodated until 3rd August before departing for Vanuatu. The apartments were lovely, spacious and looking down from my floor, the expo check in centre was a small match box which made my stomach turn the first time I peered down but after a few days, the feeling faded as I was getting used to  ¾ apartment glass wall from roof to floor.
Days building up towards Vanuatu’s National & Independence Day on 30th July, were spent on perfecting and mastering our every move, the performances, and timing allocated for each item and when I was not rehearsing with the rest of the entertainers, I ran through the National Anthem. Come National Day on Monday 30th July, a crispy morning greeted us, though warmer than usual but all the excitement had the air abuzz that we didn’t notice the rising heat. The day’s schedule, beginning from the Government delegation parade to flag ceremony podium where Vanuatu’s National Anthem penetrated Korean skies and into the Expo Hall for the commencement  of the official ceremony, ended beautifully with a performance galore that blended Vanuatu cultural and contemporary dance and music to the likes of “Wasi reh Pranda”, and “Vanuatu Paradise”.
There was a brief photo session in the expo hall after the performance then it was time to draw prize for 6 lucky winners to fly to Vanuatu which took place outside the Pacific Paradise pavilion. Here, another brief show that combined dance and song which had Korean and Vanuatu flags waving to and fro, as so did inside the Expo Hall. This ended the entertainer’s morning program, followed by a 2-3 hours rest enough to re-energize and kick start a great evening at the MVL Hotel.

 Korea was something else. I have absorbed so much in such little time, just by observing. The trips to the Suncheon Bay Ecotourism site for the World Garden Expo 2013, and Korea H4 Youth Program has been eye-opening and indeed a valuable experience for the entire Vanuatu delegation. The Koreans, young and old alike, were always welcoming with big smiles and a gentle bow as they greeted with “Haniong’ eseoh” meaning “hallo or welcome” everywhere we went made my trip truly, a wonderful cultural exchange and an experience that I will always treasure.  
Vanuatu delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Ham Lini, at the Suncheon Bay Ecotourism site.

Vanuatu Tourism - So Much Potential

By Dany Girgis, Vanuatu Specialist & Enthusiast - Sure Thing Vanuatu Travel: Having specialised in Vanuatu tourism for a number of years, I have seen some huge steps forward when it comes to promoting Vanuatu as a holiday destination. However, this increase in popularity and interest is just the beginning.

Why do people travel to Vanuatu?For rest & relaxation, for adventure, for the convenience of being a clean safe destination - all held together by the mesh of the friendly local culture amongst the people of Vanuatu.
Interestingly, sales have risen despite the reported Global Financial Crisis... But How?
The answer is that people are prepared to travel from both near and far for a UNIQUE experience.

The travel industry has evolved (with the increase in accessibility and weighting of customer reviews and shared experience) a new force has emerged - This has provided the platform for Vanuatu to unveil its unique outer islands.
It's the unique element of Vanuatu which has been bringing people from all parts of the world.
Credit must go to Simon Humphries from Vanuatu Custom Travel who has worked with outer island communities to contribute to this team success, as well as to Air Vanuatu for continuing to support outer island ventures.
Promoting the outer islands has brought a larger market to Vanuatu's main tourism areas in Efate and Santo as they are common stopovers, even for those who have come to our shores with for the purpose of visiting the outer islands.
In adopting the cutting edge approach in the wholesale market, Sure Thing Vanuatu Travel has seen a powerful increase bookings and has found over the years things have become more transparent - It's now those hotels/tours/restaurants/events that are able to provide the most satisfying experiences for customers that are having the most success.
This is because customers now do their research differently, and reputation is key. For this reason it's essential that we all work as a team as when it comes to improving our guest's experience.
Vanuatu is a beautiful nation and has so much to offer - We have been working hard to bring new markets to Vanuatu as well as creating new events targeted at high revenue demographics - Although the set up work is time-consuming, our database of Vanuatu guests and travel agencies have been highly responsive to recommendations for Vanuatu Travel.
Let’s keep giving guests the great experience they deserve - Vanuatu Tourism is now ready to deservedly reap the rewards. Visit

Ecotours Vanuatu ranks top Vila tour in Tripadvisor

Vanuatu Ecotours recently received a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor for being ranked #1 out of 35 tours in Port Vila, Vanuatu.  The proud owner Pascal Guillet shared his excitement with the VTO confirming this rewarding achievement is a result of his goal in making sure that his customer needs are catered for in all his tours and makes sure that the tours are fun as well as educational.  Vanuatu Ecotours has received 175 'Excellent' rating, currently placing Ecotours top on the list. The VTO congratulates Vanuatu Ecotours on their acheivement. View on Tripadvisor here.

August is Oyster month at Elan Restaurant and Bar

By Elan Restaurant Management: Hello and Bon Jour, Its Oyster Month at elan.   For all you Oyster lovers out there, we been able to source beautiful large Oysters, grown and farmed to perfection in the crystal clear waters of the Marlborough Sound in the South Island of New Zealand. These Oysters are of the highest quality with a natural rich creamy flavour and the fresh taste of the ocean. We have delicious dishes to choose from including the famous oyster shooter. Look forward to seeing you soon and once again thank you for your support. Kind Regards, Linda and Darryl Millar. Email Phone (678) 25526.

The Sportsmens Hotel development stage 2 complete

By Sportsmen's Hotel Management: Bob and Emily are now happy to announce that stage two of the hotel is now complete.  The hotel now includes Emily’s Café & Takeaway open 24/7 with great daily specials, a comprehensive menu see a sample of our specials below.  The Bamboo Bar & Bistro offers the coldest and cheapest beer in town at our competitors’ happy hour prices all the time. If you get the munchies feel free to order from Emily’s Café and sit down and enjoy the show. Our Friday nights include North meets South in a magnificent cultural display starting at 9pm for one hour. Backed by various local musicians from 7-11:30pm with free entry. Emily’s Cafe and Takeaway current specials, for a flat rate low price of 1000vt each: • Fish ‘n’ Chips with Salad  • Rump Steak 250g with Chips & Salad + (choice of sauces) • Half Chicken with Rice & Salad • Veal or Chicken Schnitzel with Salad & Wedge’s or Chips. This week’s special is a whole Poulet fish in a sweet chilly sauce served with salad and vegies or chips and wedges. Be sure to check out our newly launched website where you can see what we have to offer, including the full menu for the Café and rooms from 2000vt/person/night. Phone: 25550, Opposite Parliament House Click here:

Performance Marine Sailing Charters Vanuatu

Sailing trips across Mele Bay are available to all ages! Half day sailing, sunset cruises, private functions, snorkeling, fishing, partying are just some of the activities you can do … Sailing yacht SV Skye Rose is a one of a kind, self purpose high performance, carbon fibre catamaran; designed, built and captained by Matthew Grimley ….. come and explore! Read more.

Vanuatu San Pen Tour

Step Back in Time for an Adventurous Holiday in Paradise! Enjoy a western style resort holiday on Santo Island for 5 days with fun and exciting activities such as trekking to the Millennium Cave and swimming at Champagne Beach. You also step back in time to meet the indigenous people of Pentecost Island and live in a village for 6 days to learn their Custom and Culture. Read more.

Tanna Island Spirit Ecotours

Tanna Island Spirit Ecotours is a newly registered member of the Tafea Tourism Council.  onboard their tour, guests can witness and experience the local traditional way of life on Tanna Island, how to do gardening using traditional tool and many more to guests satisfaction. Tanna Island Spirit eco tour is locally owned by Ni Vanuatu.  Mr. Thomas Iaris from Middle Bush area is capable and happy to show his guests real life situation in the olden days, using traditional tools for gardening and also constructing local hatch(Houses) that the locals used in the olden days. This is a golden opportunity to experience something different to always remember.

Tanna Panorama Bungalows

Tanna Panorama bungalow is a very beautiful and attractive place to be while you are on holiday, astonishing view to the volcano. It has lovely restaurant over looking towards the majestic active Mt. Yasur volcano. The local Melanesian hunts build by Mr. Mike to help you relax and enjoy the beauty of the Melanesian people, with mosquito net, a veranda and you can use a local style shower or fresh up in a river just two minutes walk from the bungalow. Read more.

Want to walk underwater? Try Oceanwalker

Oceanwalker Vanuatu brings you this exciting and innovative tourism experience allowing you to explore the underwater world of tropical fish and coral with-out even getting your head wet. The helmet dive is the next step after snorkelling and is a fun way to discover more of what lies beneath. Read more.

Malekula Tours Airport Transfers & Charters

Malekula tours, transfers & charters wanted to offer a reliable and efficient service to all its customers. It provides airport transfers to bungalows and chartered trips to our tour operators. Read more.

Islandtime Magazine to feature Vanuatu and attend Tok Tok

Islandtime Magazine is the only South Pacific trade publication in New Zealand with a strong distribution and readership. Scott Lee will be attending Tok Tok and he will be traveling around from there and will be writing a feature article to be published in the Sept/Oct issue of Islandtime. You can view Islandtime on and for any further information contact Fran McDermott, publisher,