Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nǐ hǎo Vanuatu!

Caption: Group B agents enjoying Vanuatu.
By Len Garae, the Daily Post 2nd March: Vanuatu is likely to break into the Chinese tourist market in a few years from now and the Vanuatu Tourism Office is confident that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Vanuatu will increase. The biggest number of 20 Chinese approved travel agents from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are currently in the country checking out everything from Five Star Hotel accommodation to food to customs and culture products and more. 
It is clear they are looking for something different as they are clicking on their digital cameras at almost everything that they see. It is an opportunity handed to local tour operators on a plate to sell their products to the Chinese. Vanuatu National Tourism Office Global Marketing Manager, Allan Kalfabun and The Havannah Resort General Manager welcomed the agents to the resort for lunch yesterday. Kalfabun says the country is very lucky to be included also on the accredited list of tourist markets for China.   Thanks to International Finance Corporation Vanuatu is chosen as one of the destinations for the Chinese to visit. He says VTO is focused on investing in emerging markets and China is one of those emerging markets.  Asked his prediction of what the future holds for tourists from China to visit Vanuatu, Kalfabun replies, “The emerging market of Asia is a very good market; the fastest growing tourist market is China. 
“We are hoping to get a spin off from that growth and we are looking at a few years away, to be able to develop Chinese collaterals, for example having the Chinese menus and having the Chinese hotels information in their rooms. The biggest challenge for us of course is that we do not have direct service from China as yet. “Our unique selling points are promoting our customs and culture. We are mandated by the Government to grow the numbers to Vanuatu apart from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia which are our prime markets.