Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Princess Anne retraces her father’s footsteps to Vanuatu

Photo © Noblesse & Royautés.
30 October, 2014: Prince Philip still believed to be a God who descended from their spirit ancestors. Princess Anne followed in the footsteps of her father this week, landing on the white sands of Vanuatu, as part of her southern hemisphere tour.  Today, Prince Philip is still worshiped by the people of Tanna’s Yaohnanen village, who believe that the Duke of Edinburgh is in fact a holy mountain spirit from ancient legends. 
Their belief was further strengthened after the Prince joined Queen Elizabeth II on their official visit to Vanuatu in 1974.  The legend has passed down through generations and shrines dedicated to the Duke and adorned with his portrait can be seen by visitors to this day.
White Grass Ocean Resort on Tanna can organise bespoke tours for travellers eager to experience the ‘cargo cult’ firsthand, packages start at AUD$73 per person (VT6500).  

Malekula and Ambrym islands - Open to Explorers

Beautiful sunset along south west bay in Malekula. Photo by Alcina Charlie.
By Edna Paolo, Manager, Malampa Office of the Department of Tourism, published in Daily Post:‘The beautiful and authentic outer islands of Malekula, and Ambrym have never been more accessible to travelers and tourists than right now with the upcoming launch on Saturday November 1st of 12 new and unique multi-day packages to the region,’ says Edna Paolo, the Manager of the Malampa Office of the Department of Tourism. ‘ Call Centre – the not-for-profit regional marketing and reservation entity based in Malekula, has pooled together all 37 of its Ni-Vanuatu run tourism products – accommodation, tours and transfer services - to offer guests numerous options for travel to these islands, ensuring there is something for all types of travelers – both international and domestic’, She says.

Malampa Province packaged for Travelers

Malampa province is ready to welcome all travelers. Photo by Alcina Charlie, Lumete Bungalows, SWB on Malekula.
By Edna Paolo, Manager, Malampa Office of the Department of Tourism: The beautiful and authentic outer islands of Malekula, Ambrym and Paama have never been more accessible to travelers and tourists than right now with the upcoming launch on Saturday November 1st of 12 new and unique multi-day packages to the region,’ says Edna Paolo, the Manager of the Malampa Office of the Department of Tourism.

Air Vanuatu welcomes new GM Engineering

Media release 21 October 2014: Air Vanuatu has announced Jim Samson has been appointed the general manager of engineering at the airline. “Jim comes to us with a wealth of experience, including 10 years as the General Manager of Engineering for Air Pacific (Fiji Airways),” Chief Executive Officer Joseph Laloyer said. Mr. Samson’s appointment comes at a time when the airline is expanding its fleet with the addition of the second ATR-72 500 aircraft and requiring strong leadership in the engineering department. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Final checks on ATR before arrival

Air Vanuatu engineers and flight crew are conducting final checks on the recently purchased ATR72-500 in Kuala Lumpur before departing for Port Vila. The second ATR is the same model aircraft as Air Vanuatu’s existing ATR72-500, purchased in 2009.  “As with any significant investment, we want to ensure we are completely satisfied with the aircraft before leaving Kuala Lumpur,” Chief Executive Officer Joseph Laloyer said. “Our engineers and pilots are in the final stages of thoroughly checking the aircraft and its manuals in preparation for departure. We are excited about the arrival, however cannot rush these final engineering checks.” Media inquiries: Tiffany Carroll Tel +678 7747153 or

Beachvolley golden girls continue to put Vanuatu on the world map!

Beach Volleyball Media Release 27 October 2014: Vanuatu defeats Australia to win gold at the Hong Kong OpenVanuatu’s golden beach volleyball girls continue to excel on the world stage. On Sunday 26 October, the new pairing of Miller Pata and Linline Mansale defeated Australia in the final of the Asian Beach Volleyball Tour Event in Hong Kong. The girls lost a close first set 21-18 but responded strongly and took the second set 21-17. After going down 9-6 in a tightly contested third and final set, the girls found the resolve to draw level at 12-12. In an exciting fight to the finish, they eventually won 17-15.

Vanuatu at SPTO UK Roadshow

Ms Baude (in floral) and agents at the roadshow.
The  representative for The Vanuatu Tourism Office in Europe, Jeanette Mckeague Baude, took part in the annual SPTO UK Roadshow. This year the group visited Cambridge, Gatwick, Birmingham and Chester.  The events attracted even more guests then were registered which was really encouraging. The event was given a true Pacific flavour as a group of Fijian seranaders, from Fiji, accompanied the group.  Agents were informed of the SPTO South Pacific Specialist training program where this quarter, a lucky member could win an eight day trip to Vanuatu, in a draw.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Huge success for 2014 Origin Salon Culinare

Dessert using only local ingredients.
Port Vila, Vanuatu, 26th October 2014: In celebration of the 10th year of the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association the consensus was that it was a very successful event. Billed as the premier hospitality event to showcase Vanuatu chefs, front of house and back of house people, the Origin Salon Culinaire this year included new events and a record number of competitors across all the competition events. President of the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association, Isaac Boyle said “The show went extremely well, we are thrilled with the exposure provided for our industry and a big thanks to our sponsors and all the competitors. The annual show is organized by a small group of passionate people who are grateful for the industry support to showcase Ni-Vanuatu talent.” 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Holiday Inn Resort wins big during the Origin Salon Culinaire

Port Vila, Vanuatu, 26th October 2014: It was an exciting end to a big week for the team from the Holiday Inn Resort when they accepted the converted Origin Restaurant Challenge Trophy at the Salon Culinaire Gala Dinner on Friday night.  For the past three years of the Salon Culinaire the big players end the extensive week of competition with the hotly contested restaurant challenge, and this year the old hands were competing against new players to the tough competition. Old hands at the competition Holiday Inn Resort (2012 and 2014 Winners), Iririki Island Resort & Spa (2013 Winners, 2nd place 2014) were joined by The Havannah (3rd place 2014), Sunset Bungalows Resort, Breakas Beach Resort and Melanesian Port Vila in their first ever Restaurant Challenge. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Raising the bar up in Vanuatu culinary - Well done Vanuatu chefs!

So good to see our Ni-Vanuatu chefs (junior & senior) stepping up the level with what they can whip up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, cocktails, coffees and more to satisfy anyone and everyone ;-) Photos by Alcina Charlie - VTO Communications & e-Marketing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vanuatu cacao to melt the hearts of international fine chocolate judges

Many locals will know the cacao, also known as cocoa to others. Vanuatu cacao is to be tested by some of the best chocolate makers in the world on Thursday as part of the Origin Salon Culinaire. It is exciting that 3 years of hard work by various NGO’s and donors will be launched at the opening of the first official Vanuatu Chocolate Competition.
Sandrine of ACTIV has been working with many small cacao farmers across Vanuatu to improve the livelihood of cocoa producers and to gain access to premium markets. The result of all this hard work is that organic Vanuatu chocolate will be produced from local cacao growers to be judged by international chocolate makers. Vanuatu is very fortunate to be able to call on the services of Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker, Haigh’s Chocolates from South Australia and Bahen & Co. Chocolate Maker’s from Margaret River in Western Australia. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mobile & E-Commerce Digital Marketing vital for business growth

This week 19 tour operators gathered together at the Grand Hotel to be given an opportunity for further e-business through Hotel Link Solutions website project. The presenter of the workshop, Mr Rob Shortland from Hotel Link Solutions, talked about the importance for Digital Marketing and especially having websites with e-commerce functionality as well as mobile compatibility, to help drive tour businesses forward and into the future.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Entries Open October 27 for the Vanuatu Tourism Awards for Excellence 2014

Entries Open October 27 for the Vanuatu Tourism Awards for Excellence 2014
The new Vanuatu Tourism Awards for Excellence 2014 will launch on Monday 27 October, 2014, with operators from across the country encouraged to apply. Operators are invited to submit their entries into a variety of 12 categories, designed to align each award with all areas of the tour and accommodation industry. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Origin Culinary Arts Hospitality Show turns up the heat next week!

Front L-r: Isach Boyle New President VCFHA, (behind Issac) Sarah Kymbrekos outgoing president, Chris Bulememe Junior Chef President, (behind Chris) Mayline – Senior Chef of the year 2013, (furthest back) Mereanna Mills media officer ,  (in blue top) Rollyne Liu - student event organizer (APTC), (in green top) Alcina Charlie VTO, (next to Alcina, far right) Losalini Cacau Origin Energy, the event's main sponsor.

"It's shaping up to be a top event this year with lots of new and exciting activities happening during the event. We also have additional sponsors and great prizes for winners across all categories!" reassures Origin Culinary Arts Hospitality Show's media and communication's rep Ms. Mereana Mills. VTO's senior communications officer Alcina Charlie, attended a briefing at Breakas Beach Resort on Tuesday this week, and she caught up with the event organizers, major sponsor(s), members of the local media, as well as rub shoulders with a few shining stars of the Vanuatu Chef's National Team.

Sole Santo competitor for the Salon Culinare

Port Vila, Vanuatu, 15th October 2014: It is exciting news that the Head Chef of Village de Santo Resort is travelling to compete in the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show.  Charlie Lengtehi of Pentecost will represent the Northern Islands in this year’s Salon Culinaire. He is excited about the prospect of participating in his first ever competition and hopes to led the way for his colleagues in future competitions. 

The Havannah wins World Travel Awards for Vanuatu's Leading Resort 2014

Media release 14th October 2014: The Havannah is thrilled to have been voted as “Vanuatu’s Leading Resort 2014” at the recent World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2014, which was held at The Oberoi, New Delhi on 10th October. The World Travel Awards™ is the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought after awards programme in the global travel and tourism industry. To be voted a World Travel Award™ winner is an accolade which many strive for but few achieve. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Alas! Legend's maiden arrival this weekend

On Sunday 12th October (this Sunday), Carnival Legend arrive in Port Vila for the first time. Legend is a younger sister of Carnival Spirit and it used to reside in the western Caribbean but due to the demand in cruise passengers in Australia, Cruise Legend re-located to Australia in September. On board are 2124 passengers and 930 crew. The Carnival Cruise Lines are the largest cruise lines in the world  with more than 4.5 million guests travelling each year on its fleet of 24 ships, and Vanuatu being in its cruise itinerary is a fantastic promotional opportunity for the islands.

Vila Distribution donates prizes for the Salon Culinare

Media release, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 10th October 2014: This year Baristas, Cocktail Makers, Waiters and Waitresses will again compete in the Service Professional of the Year 2014, generously supported by long standing local company Vila Distribution. As part of the week long Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show the competitors will have the chance to win fantastic prizes such as a Juice Blender, Coffee Filter and Grinder, but the overall winner will take home a 4 gas burner oven valued at almost VT30,000.   Vila Distribution is the main sponsor of the Service Professional of the Year for the second year running. “The company is a good fit for this category and we are thrilled to be supporting the Baristas in the Vittoria coffee making, the Bartenders in the cocktail making and the Waiters in the Service Professional Dinner” said Claire Foots, General Manager, Vila Distribution, who donated all the prizes and goodies for each of the categories.  

Miss Culture 2014 contest coming up!

Media release, Thursday 09th October 2014:  The Vanuatu Cultural Center is proud to announce to its supporters and the general public it is now looking for its cultural ambassador! This quest will end with a Miss Culture 2014 contest.  The aim of this national event is not only to celebrate the world Culture Day and the Vanuatu Cultural Centre face, but also to encourage local designers to use traditional material and create contemporary and innovative garments. As such, the event will have three items: a presentation of traditional costumes to reflect the past, a catwalk with contestants wearing contemporary clothes, and finally a showcase of original gowns using local and traditional materials.  

Organic goodies at the Vanuatu Handicraft Market:

Release by Organic Paradise - Naturally Vanuatu. The Vanuatu Handicraft Market complex on Wharf Road is not just for tourists. As well as mama’s and their goods undercover, there is a Café, bar and much more for those who live or visit Port Vila frequently, to enjoy…. including Organic Paradise where you can stock up (in one place) on organic Vanuatu coffee , pepper, vanilla, chilli, cocoa nibs, noni juice, snack foods, tamanu and other oils, health products etc. These flavors of Vanuatu are also great souvenirs, gifts for visiting friends or those overseas. As reminders of our wonderful organically rich paradise, ready to eat, drink, cook, use and be enjoyed! Go to

APTC Monday lunch re-opens after mid semester break

Once an APTC student, and now a hard-working, full-time employee of Coconut Palms, Mr Jim Talivo.
APTC, which stands for Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC), an Australian Government funded initiative  located in Port Vila at the Tourism school campas, has re-opened for lunch from Monday 13th to 27th October. However, the restaurant will close on Monday 20th October due to the Salon Culinaire ( Hospitality Show) week event which will be held between Moorings and Chantilly’s Hotel from 20th to 25th October 2014.  APTC's Tourism schools are designed as a centre of training excellence, helping Pacific island students to gain Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers throughout the Pacific – careers where skilled employees are in high demand.

Escape Artist Vanuatu is live today

Photo by Alcina Charlie - Chief Sam of Holiday Inn Resort.
Media release 9/10/2014: According to the study of numerology, if you are born on the 9/10/2014 your combined numbers result in a 7 which is a lucky number in the western world.  After many months of work, Escape Artist Vanuatu was launched this morning in the United States of America by its parent, Escape Artist. is a  19 year old web portal rated 7 out of 10 on Google, and receives over 1 million original visitors a month.  That's an amazing 12 million people a year who will now be able to discover a web magazine that encourages its readers to live, work, play, invest, and retire overseas. The numerology description of ventures and people started on this date is: Your view of life is that you're frequently in touch with "the force." The energy of the world can seem like a pond with a mostly smooth surface. Watch the surface for ripples; many of them are caused by opportunities coming within reach. The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific where Richard Butler is a Trade Commissioner for Vanuatu to Queensland Australia.  Richard is also the key EscapeArtist Vanuatu editor.  He and his team have seen the opportunity to take Vanuatu via the web to compete with countries far greater in population, as they encourage relocation and investment in this island archipelago.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Origin Energy sponsors premier Hospitality Show

Mark Dunn, General Manager Origin Energy accepting his Certificate of Appreciation from Roland Cowles, VCFHA.
Media release Port Vila, Vanuatu, 1st October 2014. The week long Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show is once again set to showcase the talent of niVanuatu working in the hospitality sector thanks to the generous and long-term support of Origin Energy. In its 10th year the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association are thrilled to be able to again host the annual Salon Culinaire. 

Vanuatu Beach Volleyball Stories - The Henriette Iatika Story

Click here to view the star's story on youtube.
By Debbie Wooster. Henriette is from the remote island of Tanna in the southern part of Vanuatu. Tanna is best known as the home to one of Vanuatu's most popular tourist attractions, the Mount Yasur Volcano. Henriette grew up playing volleyball in her village and at school. At a young age Henriette’s father encouraged her to follow her dream to one day play Volleyball for Vanuatu. In 2007, her dream came true she represented Vanuatu at the Oceania Championship in Samoa, winning the silver medal.

Chefs Association appoints new President

Media release, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 28th September 2014: In its tenth year the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association endorsed the new Executive which saw some key positions change.  The new President Chef Isaac Boyle and Vice President Chef Natt Johns join the existing Executive as they prepare for the annual Salon Culinaire. Outgoing President Chef Sarah Kymbrekos and Treasurer Rob Smillie who have worked tirelessly to grow the annual Salon Culinare and increase the recognition of the NiVanuatu Chefs have had their work recognized with a Life Membership of the Association. “As a life member of the Association I am personally looking forward to some new and exciting times ahead - I have seen a huge improvement in the skills of the Ni Vanuatu chefs and the industry standards as a whole over the last 4 years and I know that this will continue under the leadership of Isaac and Natt.” Said Chef Sarah Kymbrekos.