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.
After successfully completing “an ambassador’s” training, operators receive a stamp approval logo, which was unveiled by the Hon. Minister of Tourism Toara Daniel & Miss Vanuatu Valerie Martinez (pictured above left), to certify that they have passed their training and are Tourism Ambassadors. The program will also help retailers and other businesses selling to visitors to better understand expectations of visitors so that their offerings are more likely to appeal to those relatively high spending customers. Potential outcomes include: increased income for participating businesses who receive coaching, better visitor impressions of Port Vila’s transport and retail sectors, business recognized for excellence, benefits of tourism broadened to more ni-Vanuatu, improved business practices, profitability and owner satisfaction, increased income from visitors to Vanuatu, and supporting local employment. The New Zealand High Commissioner, his Excellency Mr Bill Dowby emphasized that “It is important for tourists especially, cruise ship passengers to get a good first impression of Port Vila, when they arrive, so they are encouraged to return to Vanuatu for longer stays.” Mr Dowby continued, “The NZ Government is ever proud to fund this important proram to help Vanuatu grow its economy through the tourism industry”. For more information contact Ms Adela I. Aru, Program National Coordinator, on firstname.lastname@example.org