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Page: Travel Bug 11 - Late January 2006 Vanuatu travel news

The Travel Bug 11

Issue 11 - 20. January 2006

2006 Vanuatu TOK TOK Confirmed for October 26-27

This year’s 2006 Vanuatu TOK TOK will be held on October 26 and 27 at Iririki Island Resorts & Spa in Port Vila harbour. The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) that organises the annual event is expecting an even larger attendance at this year’s event than the record-breaking 2005 TOK TOK, which has been praised variously by participants as "the best ever," "very educational," and "offering a fantastic amount (of information) in a short stay." VTO General Manager, Linda Kalpoi said registration for buyers and sellers for this year’s TOK TOK would open in May.

"Thirty-three buyers from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, New Caledonia and Japan attended the 2005 event, and more than sixty-six local companies show-cased their hotels, resorts, bungalows, budget and backpacker accommodation, dive, game fishing, cultural and adventure tours, airline and cruise/charters, and the main islands of Efate, Espiritu Santo and Tanna." "From indications already, we’re anticipating an even larger roll-up on both sides in 2006, and the organising committee believed it appropriate that the event be held at Iririki which is soon to open Vanuatu’s newest 5-star facility, its Snorkeler’s Cove all-suites. As well, it will have the South Pacific’s largest resort swimming pool that will be a key backdrop to the two-day event.

"The Snorkeler’s Cove precinct will cater for families, having its own access so as not to impact on the ‘child free’ policy at the existing Iririki Island Resort; it will have a 1300 sq metre pool with a sand ‘beach’ leading into it, waterfalls and rock pools, café/bar, gym, tennis courts, children’s games room and even a medical centre," VTO Marketing Manager, John Cvetko said. "TOK TOK will give buyers a good opportunity to see first-hand this latest addition to Vanuatu’s resort inventory." TOK TOK in Vanuatu’s Bislama language means ‘get together and talk,’ and one wholesaler at the 2005 event said this had been achieved at a highly professionally level, with the event "outshining other trade shows, and being relaxed whilst informative, it imbued us with the way of life of Vanuatu." For further details contact John Cvetko (678) 41 482 (Source: Vanuatu Tourism Office 04/01/2006)

Pacific Region Gets New French Ambassador

The French government has appointed a new Ambassador for the Pacific region, with a focus on the Nouméa-based Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The new French ambassador and permanent representative to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community is H.E. Patrick Roussel. The 55-year-old career diplomat has formerly held ambassadorial positions in Haiti (1995-1999), and Djibouti (1999-2004). Mr Roussel’s appointment was officially gazetted last week. He replaces H.E. Bruno Gain, who had held the position for the past three and a half years and has also last week been appointed France’s permanent representative to the European Council in Strasburg.

The position of French ambassador et permanent representative to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community comes, de facto, under the responsibility of three French government ministries: the department of the Prime minister, the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ministry for overseas territories. The post also comes with the responsibility to manage a 3.5 million US dollars so-called ‘Pacific Fund’, which is assisting regional projects with the general purpose of fostering regional integration in the Pacific, and especially to encourage a better integration of the three French Pacific countries and territories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna) in their natural environment. Those projects were mostly related to health, education, culture, media and more recently agriculture, research, environment conservation and natural disasters preparedness.

Some of its main recipients included the Secretariat of the Pacific Community or the Pacific Islands Forum. In 2004 and 2005, the Fund’s roving chairmanship was held by French Polynesia. In 2006 and 2007, it will be New Caledonia’s turn to chair the development tool, which is also steered by a ten-person committee consisting of five representatives from the French Pacific countries and territories’ executives (two for French Polynesia, two for New Caledonia and one for Wallis and Futuna). The other five board members are representatives from the French ministries of foreign affairs, overseas territories, finance and international cooperation. During a tour in the Pacific in July 2003, French President Jacques Chirac had also announced that the Fund would be doubled. (Source: Oceania Flash News 02/01/2006)

PNG Government Announces Tourism Incentives

The Papua New Guinea Tourism Industry stands to gain from new incentives announced by the government in its 2006 national budget. They include double tax deductions on advertising expenses; accelerated depreciation provisions for capital expenditure for hotels; restaurants and recreational activities; and duty free purchases on a range of items not produced in PNG but that add to costs in the tourism industry such as towels, bed-linen, cups and plates, glass tableware, wetsuits and photographic films. (Source: PNGTPA Monthly Newsletter Update Issue 19 – 28 December 2005)

New Association for Tour Operators in PNG

Tour Operators in PNG have formed an association to be a voice for Tour operators in the country. The newly established Tour Operators Association (TOAPNG) was formed on October 19 by a group of local product owners and people involved in the tourism industry. TOAPNG will work closely to assist Tour Operators. The Interim Executive Committee consists of Michael Buleau (president), Alois Mateo (vice president), Janet Sios (secretary/treasurer), Pym Mamindi, Max Kasu, Albert Toro, Samson Kakai, Elijah Hon and Linda Honey. All matters regarding TOAPNG should be referred to the Interim EO - Ms. Lora Flynn on Ph (675) 3200 211, Fax (675) 3200 223 or email: lflynn@pngtourism.org.pg. (Source: PNGTPA Monthly Newsletter Update Issue 19 – 28 December 2005)

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