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Page: Travel Bug 49 - March 2009 Vanuatu travel news

Travel Bug

Issue 49 - March 2009

South Malekula Kastom Festival in September

The Maskelyne Island community, in conjunction with the Vanuatu Kaljarol Senta, are proud to be hosting the South Malekula Kastom Festival “Reef Island Life” September 18th - 20th, 2009. This three-day cultural event will provide an insight in to the ancient traditions of the Small Nambas, and the living culture of South Malekula. The festival will be hosted in a new village daily, and visitors will be invited to participate in workshops and displays of weaving, carving, coconut scratching, canoe building and sailing, amongst other cultural activities.

There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to explore the island. Visitors can take a guided tour on a traditional canoe to the outer reef, relax on sand beaches and absorb the relaxed, island ambiance, and enjoy a Melanesian feast by fire-light, with kastom performances and storytelling. Bungalow accommodation is available on the island. Bookings need to be pre-arranged as numbers are limited. A secluded campground is available on the pristine white sand beach of Malaflaf, and village stays can be arranged. Tickets will be available at the Vanuatu Kaljarol Senta in July 2009. For more information please Contact Anna and Liam on ecoadventuremaskelyne@gmail .

Vanuatu Tok Tok for 2009 confirmed

Following record attendance from both international attendees and local participants last year, the 8th Annual “Tok Tok” has been confirmed to be held at the Sebel Vanuatu on August 27 and 28, 2009. (The Sebel Hotel is home to the newly opened Jupiters Vanuatu casino.) Jointly organized by the Vanuatu Tourism Office, in partnership with the local tourism industry, Tok Tok remains Vanuatu’s premier event on the tourism calendar. Tok Tok is an important catalyst for the growth of international tourism to Vanuatu, particularly in the current volatile economic climate, providing a forum for tourism wholesalers and agents from around the world to meet with Vanuatu’s tourism providers. For additional information on Tok Tok 2009 please contact Joe Iauto, Trade and Events Officer at the Vanuatu Tourism Office on trade@tourism.vu or phone + 678 22515.

Vanuatu’s first mountain biking competition!

images/Cycling.jpg
Cyclo Vate is Vanuatu's
first mountain bike race

Vanuatu offers great sporting events like the La Piste Bleue, Telecom Round Island Relay, Kiwanis Horse Race, Vanuatu Ocean Swim, and the Espiritu Santo and Aore swims which involve running, horse racing, and swimming, and for the first time this year, there will be a new addition. Mountain Bike racing is scheduled for early May and is jointly organized by the New Caledonian Biking Regional Committee, Southern Province of New Caledonia, and Vanuatu Ecotour. More than 200 bikers from New Caledonia have indicated to participate. The event will be called Cyclo Vate.

The two days event will take place on Friday 1st of May, and Saturday 2nd. On Friday, a 35km race will commence on mainland Mele Beach (10 minutes drive from Port Vila), opposite Hideaway Island, and the route leads contestants through cattle & farm plantations towards Devil’s Point, and a turning curve is made back to Mele Beach to the finish line. On the second day, Saturday 2nd of May 2009, the circuit (no timing) will lead racers from Bellevue heights to the beautiful Eratap beach then off to Erakor village. An after race party and entertainment is hosted for the racers and their supporters on both evenings. (Source: VTO Island Nius)

New Land Dive Packages for 2009

Mayumi Green from Espiritu Santo’s Wrecks to Rainforest, has commenced promoting her company’s Pentecost Land Dive packages for April, May and June for guests staying in Santo over the nagol or land diving season. This year’s land dives will take place on the following Saturdays: April: 04, 11, 18, 25. May: 02, 09, 16, 23, 30. June: 06,13, 20, and end on 27 (last jump for 2009). Package includes return airfare, entrance fee, light refreshment, light lunch, and guide fee. Guests depart Santo at 7am & return at 5.50 pm. For more information, feel free to contact Mayumi on phone 37605 or 5547001. Email info@wreckstorainforest.com

Vanuatu Seaplanes New Vanuatu Air Charters

Vanuatu Seaplanes have expanded and have added a 5 seated Cessna 206 (fixed wheeled) to their fleet! Vanuatu Air Charters (operated by Vanuatu Seaplanes) is now ready and waiting to take Vanuatu’s tourists and locals to their destinations at very competitive prices. Vanuatu Air Charters are offering Tanna Day and overnight tours, Pentecost Day tours as well as the usual charter, medi-vac, coffin relocation, freight and aerial photography. All enquiries and bookings can be made on phone +678 5544206, and +678 5542619.

Village de Santo opening soon

On Thursday 26th February, Nabil and Beverly Anti, Resort Managers of the new Village de Santo visited the VTO to talk about their product. Village de Santo features 18 modern unit apartments that can comfortably sleep 4-5 guests. The apartments have kitchen facilities, a private patio, and onsite is a restaurant, an in-ground pool, a communal gazebo area with pool side bar, internet access, and is conveniently easy walking distance to the beach and back. Scheduled to open it’s doors in mid April of this year, Village de Santo is located south east of Espiritu Santo and takes only 10 minutes drive from the airport.

Whilst introductions from our visitors gave the VTO an insight to an exciting product, it was clear to see that the resort will benefit immensely from the background and wealth of experience by both Nabil, Beverly, and their daughter Joumana in international hotel, travel, cuisine, and real estate. Joumana, will operate the Food and Beverage section of Village de Santo as she is experienced in the restaurant and bar industry. (Source: VTO Island Nius – February 2009)

Air Vanuatu welcomes first Ni-Van engineer

Air Vanuatu has announced that Simon Nompavos from Erromango has been promoted to work as an engineer on the Boeing 737-800. “Simon is the first Ni-Vanuatu to be signed off as an engineer on the jet. This is a big day for the national carrier, one we are very proud of,” Chief Executive Officer Hollingsworth Ala Ngwele said. “Simon has extensive experience, starting his career at Vanair in 2004, before moving to New Zealand to work for Qantas, Air Work and Air New Zealand. “We are pleased to welcome him home and proud of his achievements.” Mr. Ngwele said Air Vanuatu has a policy in place to up-skill Ni-Vanuatu, with the aim of localising management positions within the company. “It is a long term plan, however we are actively recruiting and promoting Ni-Vanuatu and are proud to be one of the largest employers in the country.”

Thirty-year-old Simon Nompavos is a local success story. Educated at Lini Memorial College on Pentecost before finishing his schooling at Malapoa College, Simon said he loves his job at Air Vanuatu. “I studied at Air New Zealand Engineering School in Christchurch and gained a lot of experience working for Qantas and Air New Zealand before returning home,” Simon said. “My favourite part of the job is seeing the aircraft fly beautifully after maintenance, and knowing that I played a part in that.” (Source: VTO Island Nius)

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