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Page: August 2007 Vanuatu tarvel news - Foreign Trade Ministers Meet in Vanuatu

The Travel Bug 30

Issue 30 - August 2007

Forum Trade Ministers Meet In Vanuatu

Forum Trade Ministers met in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 2 – 3 August 2007 to review the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) and its implementation, progress on implementation of the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (RTFP) and a programme for the Standards & Conformance (S&C) component of the RTFP. They also considered the PACER-related Studies on a more comprehensive framework for trade and economic cooperation among Members – the Gap Analysis Study and Baseline Study Reports between FICs and Australia & New Zealand, a regional approach to World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade issues, intellectual property rights systems in the Forum Island Countries (FICs) and other issues. (Source: Forum Secretariat Press Statement 91/07 3rd August 2207)

Vanuatu hotels site upgrades to new web site

The most comprehensive, informative and user friendly on-line booking web site to Vanuatu (VHL) has just got better! Vanuatu Hotels launched its first site in 2005 providing unprecedented service and inventory of accommodation for travellers to Vanuatu. Following two years of solid growth, the site has now been migrated to a much needed larger platform incorporating a range of new services for the traveller. General Manager of Vanuatu Hotels said, "One of this sites greatest attractions is its uncompromising honesty and respect to its customer; the traveller." "A rare find in today's proliferation of internet "book on-line" sites." "You will not find any advertising on Vanuatu Hotels only essential travel services and up to date facts for the traveller to make informed decisions." "VHL is not affiliated with any property or tour operator, therefore, does not have a vested interest in promoting or encouraging bookings to a select minority of suppliers." "Every property on VHL is provided with the same due diligence regardless of who they are or their commission.

There is a lot of differentiation between VHL and its competitors with a core difference is that VHL is operated by real people, with real answers to travellers needs, by experienced Vanuatu specialists living in the destination not data generic text from some distant land." "We believe in people interacting with people not computers." "The range of accommodation VHL offers is more than triple our nearest rivals whilst offering 20 to 25% cheaper room rates and our business model is simple: we built it around the customer's needs first and foremost." "Our unique approach is endorsed by the number of positive traveller feedback we receive each week." "Travellers are finding that booking on-line can be not only a cost efficient way to book their holiday, but an enjoyable personal experience to boot." "The Lonely Planet has even picked up on this in their latest book on Vanuatu by listing Vanuatu Hotels as their choice for book on-line sites to the destination!" (Source: Travel Mole 30 July 2007)

Single–Destination Tourism

The South Pacific is fast becoming a one-stop shop where tourists from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the U.S. pop in for a week or two before flying directly home. Wide ranging island – hopping trips touching several countries are becoming more difficult to book and a lot more expensive. Looking one or two decades ahead, it is clear that sustainable, low-impact tourism is the only choice for the South Pacific. The mosquito bite tourism promoted by Branson and related tour companies is clearly unsustainable.

What is sustainable is the type of family-or-village-operated tourism we see in the fale resorts of Samoa, the backpacker camps of Fiji, the pensions of French Polynesia, and the gites of New Caledonia and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation does a good job of coordinating it all. Accommodation like these are built from local materials and island produce is served whenever possible. The bulk of profits remain in the communities rather than being siphoned off to pay foreign investors, expatriate managers and overseas suppliers. Island governments are beginning to recognise these facts. "Think globally, act locally" works just fine when applied to island tourism. (Source: David Stanley author Moon Handbooks South Pacific, original travel guidebook to the region)

Air Tahiti Nui wins Best Pacific Airline Award

Air Tahiti Nui, the international airline of Tahiti and her Islands, has been named "Best Airline – Pacific Region" for the fifth consecutive year in the annual Skytrax Awards for airline excellence. The airline has also won the "Best Cabin Crew" category for the Pacific region in the 2007 Skytrax rankings, which assess airlines of all sizes and styles around the world. And it has achieved a Four Star rating overall for its in-flight and on ground services.

"It is a great honour to be recognised once as the best airline in the markets you serve," said Craig Lee, Regional Director Australia for Air Tahiti Nui. "But to be voted Best Airline - Pacific Region five times in a global awards programme indicates clearly that our service is not just good – it is consistently good," said Mr Lee. "Although the awards measure all aspects of airline quality, a major factor in our success is the high standard of care delivered to passengers by our cabin crew, so to also win the best Cabin Crew award for the Pacific region doubles the honour for us," he said.

The World Airline Awards ® are based on the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax - carried out between August 2006 and June 2007. Skytrax said there were more than 3.5 million eligible responses and more than 90 nationalities represented in the latest survey. From Australia, Air Tahiti Nui offers three weekly flights to French Polynesia – two nonstop flights between Sydney and Papeete, and one via Auckland, and from late October a second service will be introduced via Auckland. From Papeete, Air Tahiti Nui offers onward connections to Los Angeles and New York, and to Paris, via Los Angeles, as well as services from Papeete to Tokyo and Osaka. (Source: The Mole 6 August, 2007) membership update welcomes 2 new private sector members.

  1. Coral Motel Apartments has 10 self-contained studio apartments and is located in Port Villa, Vanuatu, about ten minutes walk from the centre of the City. All are twin share apartments with your own kitchens and full size fridges, direct dial phones, satellite TV and appropriate facilities for business travellers. Visit their website for more information: 
  2. Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd., Australia, offers an excellent choice of frequent scheduled international and domestic flights, and the Scheduled Services Timetable enables you to view flight options between Brisbane and your destination including any intermediate airports. Brisbane Airport is accommodated with airlines reconfirmation desks, shops, restaurants, visitors information desk, etc. For more information, visit their website: 

For more information on’s Private Sector Membership Programme and the associated benefits, contact our Membership Services Manager on e-mail:

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