Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vanuatu tops Region for Cruise Ship visits

Caption: Vuti presenting copy of Cruise 2014 Findings to DG Trade Marokon Obed Alilee (right) while VTO GM and Vice President of SPTO Board Linda Kalpoi looks on
By Len Garae, Daily Post: Vanuatu currently tops the Pacific island countries as the most popular destination for cruise ships as shown by a list of over 200 cruise ships to visit the country this year. The Vanuatu Cruise Survey 2014 findings show that 93% of all visitors that visited the country from July to December came from Australia. 
Of the total, 71% of the visitors came from NSW compared to other States of Australia.
Also 70% of the visitors said it was their first time to come to Vanuatu while 30% were returnees. A total of 77% arrived on cruise ships. Cruise tourism has become the most popular means of travel for visitors on holiday. On average each tourist spent Vt13, 000 a day in Port Vila while in Mystery Island only Vt3, 000. “There are less products in Mystery Island on offer than in Port Vila so they are not able to spend their money because what are they going to spend it on?”, Vuti said.
“This is something for our tourism planners in Mystery Island to look at maybe providing more products; 7 out of 10 visitors say their trip to Port Vila was very enjoyable while in Mystery Island, 9.7% of visitors say their trip was very enjoyable. That gives you an indication of what the tourists say”.
The findings confirm that Mystery Island is more attractive to visitors than Port Vila. The findings show that 88% of visitors will definitely return on another cruise to Mystery Island and more visitors will want to visit Mystery Island than Port Vila for another holiday. “However one thing they do not know is that Mystery Island has yet to have accommodations for tourists”, Vuti said. Port Vila visitors want to stay longer saying their trip is too short. 7 out of 10 say they will very likely recommend Port Vila as a destination for their relatives and friends to visit. 
In Mystery Island, 88% say they will recommend the destination to their families and friends, which is higher than Port Vila and is an indication of tourist satisfaction. 
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation Manager Research and Planning, Lenox Vuti and Marketing Consultant Mouna Peters, attended the Vanuatu Cruise Survey 2014 Report launch and findings presentation at The Cascades on Wednesday this week.
Vuti’s return is evidence of his credibility as a highly respected resource person who prior to taking up his position at SPTO held a number of senior positions in the Government as well as the Region.  He was also responsible for overseeing the preparatory stages for the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers Meeting in Port Vila in June of 2012, which was also the event that brought together over one hundred diplomatic representatives from ACP and the EU for their meetings.