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Page: Travel Bug 35 - January 2008 Vanuatu travel news

The Travel Bug 35

Issue 35 - January 2008

Growing Tourism in Vanuatu in 2008

In an effort to further develop and promote the tourism industry of Vanuatu, and increase opportunities for sustainable livelihoods for the people of Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) in conjunction with the Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association (VHRA) and the Vanuatu Tour Operators Association and a range of other tourism industry stakeholders have created a “Tourism Marketing Fund”. Becoming effective from 1st April 2008, the Tourism Marketing Fund is to be supported by contributions from member associations, including hotels, duty free stores, tour operators and the finance sector. (Source: Tribal Drum December 2007)

Vanuatu Tourism Awards

The 2007 Vanuatu tourism awards were presented in December at The Sebel Hotel. Guests enjoyed the magnificent views and custom entertainment at Poolside before moving into the function room especially decorated and presented by the Sebel for the night of nights for Tourism Operators. Committee Chairman Bryan Death opened the evening by welcoming long time general manager of the VTO (Vanuatu Tourism Office) Linda Kalpoi and Special Guest for the evening Mark Beretta (Chanel 7 Sunrise Sports Anchor). Bryan then welcomed all guests and emphasized the growth in Vanuatu’s tourism arrival both by air and sea as a great signal to operators for the future. The presentation of awards throughout the evening bought squeals of delight from the winners’ tables. The Special Chairman’s Award for 2007 which recognizes an individual’s service to tourism over time was this year presented to Evergreen Tours Managing Director Philip Malas. In other highlights, the “Best Resort” award was presented to Le Lagon Resort and the “Best Hotel (under 20 rooms)” award was presented to Fatumaru Bay Lodge. (Source: The Independent Newspaper 16 December 2007)

Rock Star Alanis Morissette Visits Rabi island, in Fiji

Canadian international rock star Alanis Morissette stole the hearts of locals when she charted a Savusavu-based cruise boat for a humanitarian tour of cyclone damaged islands in the northern division last week. Having slipped into the country unnoticed, Morissette impressed the workers of Tui Tai Adventure Cruises with her down to earth and caring nature. On January 4, she docked at Rabi island to visit the islanders affected by Cyclone Daman. None of them knew who she was nor were they able to pronounce her name. Morissette is the best selling female rock artist in history, having sold 60 million albums worldwide and reaching critical universal acclaim with her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill.

She was very down to earth and a caring person and she really loved Fiji. She said that right now Fiji was the best place she had visited, Tui Tai co-owner Morika Young said. On Rabi, she applauded the youths who put on a special show for her, telling in song and dance how their people came to Fiji. Morissette, who was joined by two friends, met each and every youngster, before handing out toys, clothes and medicine. She returned the next morning with five new wheelchairs, personally delivering them to handicapped islanders. She also briefly met with Rabi Island Council members before sailing back into Natewa Bay in Vanua Levu. Rabi (pronounced 'rambi') is a volcanin island in northern Fiji, situated north-east of Vanua Levu, Fiji's second largest island. (Source: Fiji Times 11 January 2008)

Surge in New Domain Name Registrations for dot.travel

Dot-travel registrar EnCirca has announced that there was a surge in new .travel domain name registrations ahead of the travel registry rule changes scheduled that was to have  taken effect from December 21, 2007. “Companies are deciding to secure the names they are already authenticated for” says Tom Barrett, President of EnCirca. “On Friday, all dot-travel domain names become first-come, first-served and will be available to any travel company”. This includes nearly 300,000 reserved destination names. Effective with the new relaxed eligibility policy, Tralliance, the .travel registry is planning to release thousands of reserved place names, such as cities, iconic cultural sites and world heritage landmarks. “EnCirca is the only travel registrar offering pre-registrations for all available names”, says Barrett. “We will automatically submit applications to the dot-travel registry once the new rules take effect.” (Source: Forimmediaterelease.net 19 December 2007)

2007 - One of Safest Years for Air Travel

According to ACRO (Aircraft Crashes Record Office), the last year, 2007, was one of the safest for air travel in the past 4 decades of air travel. There were 136 airplane accidents, resulting in 965 people killed, in airplanes with 6 or more passengers and crew. That's 25% less killed than in 2006 and lowest number since 2004.
     The number of airplane accidents, of 136 in 2007, is the lowest number of accidents since 1963. This is why ACRO calls 2007 'amongst the safest since mid last century' for commercial travel. The above statistics do not include helicopters, small jets, millitary or sport aicrafts. According to ACRO in 2007, there were 34 airplane accidents in the US, 10 in Canada, 8 in Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 in Columbia, and 5 in Indonesia.

Worldwide Promo for Bora Bora after Eddie Murphy marries there

A People Magazine exclusive report on Eddie Murphy's New Year's Day "marriage" touched off a worldwide promotion for Bora Bora, Tahiti, where the couple reportedly tied the knot "in front of 25 friends and family". The article reported "a sunset ceremony on the beach" with the bride walking "barefoot down the aisle to Gladys Knight's 'Markings of You'. "The wedding was designed by event designer Colin Cowie, who created a gazebo on the beach made out of 6,000 shells for the ceremony," People Magazine reported. Sam Godfrey of Perfect Endings in Napa, Calif., prepared the wedding cake. "After the ceremony, guests celebrated at a private dinner and after-party, where DJ Darrin Ebron from Los Angeles kept the guests dancing," People reported on its Internet Web site. Bora Bora is one of the most famous tropical islands, situated in Society Islands of French Polynesia. (Source: Tahitipresse 02 January 2008)

Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora Due to Join 21st Century Internet World in 2010

Eighty-three percent of French Polynesia's population will have potential access to the 21st Century world of the Internet in 2010 with a broadband connection estimated at "over 100" times faster than now. This will be possible thanks to a high-speed fiber optic underwater cable that Alcatel-Lucent plans to install linking Tahiti to Hawaii at an installation cost of some nine billion French Pacific francs (US$114 million/€75.4 million). A project that has been talked about on and off for the past several years finally became official with last week's signing of a contract between the French Polynesia Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT) and Alcatel-Lucent. "This small thingamajig costs nine billion F CFP," OPT Board Chairman Jean-Paul Barral said with a smile as he held up a piece of fiber optic cable that Alcatel-Lucent officials had given him a few minutes before the contract signing. Barral described the contract as "one of the most important projects of the decade".

The cable has been given the Tahitian name of "Honotua", which means the link towards the open sea. The contract was signed at the beginning of the 10th year of Internet connection via satellite for French Polynesia's service provider, Mana, an OPT subsidiary. French Polynesia's first underwater Internet cable will create a network that also will "help reduce the digital divide in the Pacific region", according to an Alcatel-Lucent press release. The underwater network "will greatly increase French Polynesia's local and international connectivity. Accordingly, OPT will be able to respond at more affordable costs to the growing demand for broadband services of its business and residential users." For more information, click here. (Source: Tahitipresse 14 January 2008)

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