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Page: Travel Bug 2 - July 2005 Vanuatu travel news

The Travel Bug 2

Issue 2 - July 2005

Vanuatu Celebrates 25 years of Independence!

This year, 2005, is Vanuatu’s 25th year of Independence – its “Silver Jubilee”! Many class the annual July Independence celebrations as starting as early as the 10th of July and various events around the country taking place each week. Through until the main event at Independence Park in Port Vila (the nation’s capital), on the 30th of July, each year.

This year there was a special event that happened prior to the 10th of July, when 10 couples got married on the 8th of July, in the nation’s largest village, “Mele”, outside of Port Vila on Efate Island.

Other events that are happening during July 2005 are France’s National Day celebration on the 14th of July and Vanuatu’s Charity Horse Race on Saturday the 16th of July, at the “Abattoir Area” near to the Port Vila Golf and Country Club. On the 24th of July is the annual “Children’s Day” celebrations. There will be also Down-town march, Concerts, and Special Events held at some schools, and of course the children receiving gifts from their parents and Godparents, along with orphans getting special gifts from community members.

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Vanuatu's Charity Horse Race is held near Port Vila Golf & Country Club, to celebrate Vanuatu's 25 years of Independence.

These various events and general jubilations culminate in the main event of the month, the actual Independence Day Celebrations held at major towns and villages throughout the country. Naturally the biggest excitement and series of events for the day are to be seen at “Independence Park” in Port Vila’s central area. Various events commence on the 22nd and go through to the 31st July, with the 30th being the main day of celebrations at Independence Park.

Coinciding with Vanuatu’s Jubilee year, 2005 is also the National Year for Tourism. And those keen on golfing can participate in the Vanuatu Golf Open held this year in the first week of August.

Silver Jubilee Round Island Relay – July 2005

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Round Island Relay celebrates Vanuatu's Silver Jubilee
One main event that will happen on the 31st July in Efate, is Vanuatu’s “Round Island Relay” run. The Round Island Relay was first staged as one of the sports events organized to celebrate Vanuatu’s Independence in July 1980. Three teams of 10 runners raced around the island of Efate, a feat that many locals at the time thought impossible, symbolically linking the villages en route. There are 10 sections of the race with the shortest leg 11.7kms and the longest 16kms. The race goes through traditional villages and past mountain rainforests, along the many rugged gravel roads. Ten member relay teams compete for the grand prize of 100,000 Vatu. Local teams already have many kilometeres of training behind them and the competition between the top teams is going to be fierce. Overseas interest is also growing with five teams already confirmed form New Caledonia and interest from Teams in Australia and New Zealand. Many teams though enter for the challenge and sense of achievement in merely finishing this grueling team event. This being such a special year, there's bound to be some extra special effort in the race from local teams and some extra special entertainment in the Villages along the way. Teams may register for the race at a cost of 29,425 Vatu (or AUD $355.00). (Source: VTO - Vanuatu Tourism Office)

Qantas and Tourism Australia in New Partnership

Tourism Australia and Qantas have announced a new three year global destination marketing partnership worth more than $60 million. The partnership, which begins from 1 July 2005, will see Tourism Australia and Qantas work together in 12 of Australia's key source markets, including UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, India and New Zealand. (Source: SPTO and Tourism Australia Newsletter 23/06/2005)

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Australia's international airline Qantas announces new 3-year global marketing partnership. The airliner is also in code-sharing partnership with Air Vanuatu, flying to and from Vanuatu.

Virgin Signs Deal with Sister Carrier Down Under

Virgin Atlantic has signed a code share deal with its Australian sister airline Virgin Blue. The agreement will enable customers to book a flight from the UK all the way through to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast and Coolangatta using Virgin Blue's internal network. Virgin Atlantic currently operates a daily service to Sydney. The carrier said it would provide a seamless experience for travellers with "smooth and hassle-free" connections between the international and domestic airlines. Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey said: "It's an exciting step forward as it streamlines the process of booking Virgin all the way, making it easier for travel agents to book our passengers on both airlines." The codeshare agreement starts on July 17. (Source: SPTO and TravelMole News 16/06/2005)

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