Sunday, September 29, 2013

VTO attends the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show 2013 media conference

On Wednesday 25th September 2013, VTO managers and senior staff attended a media conference organized by the host of the “Salon Culinaire”, the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association. The media conference took place at Chantillys on the Bay and was attended by the National Culinary team, the VTO and media reps (right photo) .  The conference aimed to raise awareness on the annual the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show, which is the largest event of its kind in Vanuatu attracting over 200 registrants competing in cooking as well as front of house, coffee making, bar & waiter, and housekeeping.

Living National treasures retire

Mary and Jessel Niavia, long-time employees of Friendly Bungalows, Tanna have officially retired. The Australian owners of Friendly Bungalows together with an entourage of delegates, chiefs, senior community representatives and the Department of Tourism, were there this week in Tanna to mark the historic day. 

Vanuatu shows promising results in cruise tourism

Vanuatu tourism's cruise sector received positive preliminary results compared to neighboring destinations according to latest Vanuatu Cruise Survey that was funded by the European Union and facilitated by the South Pacific Tourism Organization.The surveys, ongoing, were conducted in Port Vila and Mystery Island by staff members of the VTO and the Department of Tourism. Australia had the highest number of cruise visitors with 90 percent of passengers arriving from Queensland (40% Australians), Sydney and NSW (32% Australians), Victoria (16% Australian), and South Australia (5%) and other countries making it up to 7 percent, 2nd being cruise tourists from New Zealand.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Reggae Band: Manples Warriors to play at Fest Napuan

By Mark “Remedy” Taiki: Many youth in Vanuatu face difficulties regarding education, crime and unemployment. Some respond through self-pity and complaints of injustice, others respond through the use of reggae music, and innovation. A newly formed reggae group called the “Manples Warriors” have been proactive in their marketing methods. Led by the IT-SCOPE co-founder Stanley Wai, the Warriors recently entered the music scene with their single “Natural Beauty” featuring “Ghost” from the reggae band “Ruff House”.  The song has been downloaded numerous times on sound cloud and received positive responses from face book followers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

National Tourism Capacity Building Program facilitated by TVET

Director George Borugu (right), Mr. Pascal Gavotto (back),
Ms. Joanne Wade (front) with Tourism Officials.
2013 is a milestone for the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) as staff members of the two institutions are undergoing a series of capacity building programs funded by the Ausaid TVET Sector Strengthening Program. The National Tourism Capacity Building Program was made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2013 by the Department of Tourism and the TVET Program. The program covers a series of 6 workshops ranging on relevant topics covering today’s tourism growth such as product marketing, promotional materials development, online booking systems, bungalow development, accreditation & standards, product management, strategic market analysis and project management.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Accreditation system in place to encourage quality accommodations in outer islands

Ameltoro Bungalows. Photograph of
By Charlie Sikal, VTO attaché media student: The Vanuatu Tourism office (VTO) will soon be updating its outer Island bungalows listing on in the upcoming week, to encourage bungalows  reach minimum standard as required by the accreditation process monitored by the Department of Tourism (DOT). This system is a first of its kind which is being implemented this year by the DOT product development officers in all 6 provinces. Tasks to include evaluating accommodations which are the island bungalows and budget guest houses in the outer islands. So far, only one province is yet to submit its list to the DOT before the VTO can start updating its website’s bungalows list to show only bungalows that pass the minimum standards. The accreditation is a positive step forward that will pave way for improving destination hospitality service in the accommodation sector especially in the outer islands and in return, boost competiveness of Vanuatu as a top holiday destination in the south pacific. This will benefit bungalow owners and help grow local economy in the rural communities. Works are now underway for VTO to be receiving the first bungalows listing from the Department of Tourism, so VTO can start updating its website.  It is important that all outer island bungalow owners currently listed on the website, contact the provincial product development officers regarding their bungalow, to check the status of their listing on the VTO website. For more information, call the Department of Tourism on +678 26020, and speak with Ms Janet Aru.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Stan and the Earthforce to play at Fest Napuan 2013

Written By Mark Remedy Taiki: Many local bands have attempted to penetrate the regional market with their albums however only a few have managed to leave a lasting impact. “Stan & the Earthforce” successfully gained the public’s attention with their debut album “Easy Rock Steady” since its release in 2011. The bands work ethic has resulted in constant radio play, overcrowded shows, and a reggae award in New Caledonia. I recently sat down their lead singer Stan Antas to find out the driving force behind his music.

Miss Vanuatu 2013 professional photo shoot Getting ready for Miss Asia Pacific World 2013

September, 03: In the lead up towards getting ready for the Miss Asia Pacific World 2013 contest, Ms Valerie Martinez – Miss Vanuatu 2013, went through her first professional photo-shoot which took place last week in several sites around Efate Island. The photo shoot was made possible through the generous support from local businesses and industry colleagues in Vila. “The idea of the professional photo shoot followed after a meeting and had good response by the several businesses who were happy to partner up and assist, even if the request came in a little late”, remarked Linda Kalpoi, Chairlady of the Miss Vanuatu Committee. Kalpoi continued, “It is great to see businesses supporting our call in getting Miss Vanuatu ready for the Miss Asia Pacific World. Our sincere thanks to companies from the tourism industry and associated business houses”. 

Vanuatu Tourism Ambassador ‘Mekem Gud Mekem Mani Program’ launches

On Friday 30th August, the VTO Management and staff took part at an important launching of the Vanuatu Tourism Ambassador Mekem Gud Mekem Mani Program. The Vanuatu Tourism Ambassador Program is a one year pilot project funded by the New Zealand Aid Program which aims to enhance tourist experience and improve tourism businesses hospitality services. The program will involve performance audits of participating transport, tour operators and retail businesses and provide coaching to help them improve their service standards.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vanuatu Mobile Massage

Vanuatu Luxury Limousines is excited to formally introduce to the industry, Vanuatu’s newest locally owned and operated mobile massage service where guests can now experience exquisite relaxation in the comfort of their own accommodation or alternately indulge in a ‘Romantic Pamper Package’ including stretch limousine transfers to one of Vanuatu Limo’s exclusive beach-front locations.