Monday, September 9, 2013

Accreditation system in place to encourage quality accommodations in outer islands

Ameltoro Bungalows. Photograph of Malampa.travel
By Charlie Sikal, VTO attaché media student: The Vanuatu Tourism office (VTO) will soon be updating its outer Island bungalows listing on www.vanuatu.travel 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.