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Page: May 2008 Vanuatu travel news - The Lodge on Santo island - Sand Drawing Festival

Travel Bug 39

Issue 39 - May 2008

The Lodge Opens on Santo Island

Suitable for individual visitors or groups looking for low cost accommodation overlooking the sheltered waters of Segond Channel with close, easy access to Luganville, the Lodge is the perfect location for travellers to Espiritu Santo Island. Scuba divers, special interest groups, government meetings, small business conventions will all enjoy the very comfortable accommodation for up to 35 people and the convenient meeting facilities available.

Equipped with its own modern kitchen, TV lounge with satellite Aussie TV and a huge nakamal (Bislama for meeting place) it’s the place to get together after a days diving, meetings or adventuring, with its own gas BBQ, outdoor furniture and views overlooking the lawns and gardens. Guests can take advantage of Beachfront Resort's bar and restaurant (try our great pizzas) or use the first-rate cooking facilities of the lodge itself. Breakfast is available in the restaurant but the cost is not included in the budget tariff. The Lodge comprises two dormitories and six single, twin/double/triple or quad share rooms with either fan cooling or air conditioning, all with ensuite facilities. (Source: VTO Island Nius May 2008)

Vanuatu National Sand Drawing Festival

Ambrym Island was the host to the 2008 Vanuatu National Sand Drawing Festival, held on 11-15 May 2008. The Sesivi community on West Ambrym Island in Vanuatu was the host village of the 2008 National Sand Drawing Festival - ‘Sandroing’ in Bislama. Sandroings are elegant geometric patterns, produced directly on the ground, which can transmit a wealth of traditional knowledge about local history, indigenous rituals and cosmologies, kinship systems, natural phenomena and farming techniques.

Each region’s sandroings are an object of national pride and distinction, combining culturally unique elements of storytelling, oral history, music and performance. This National Sandroing Festival brings together up to five hundred practitioners of sandroing from the Vanuatu archipelago who travel by foot, truck, boat, plane or canoe to celebrate sandroing and sustain the traditional extensive network of exchange. Edgar Hinge, Pentecost sandroing expert and ‘Custom School’ teacher declares that “It is very important that our children do not lose their connection to their traditional way of life. Sand drawing is an essential part of our younger generation’s education”. (Source: VTO Island Nius May 2008)

Santo Tourism Association’s visit to Brisbane & Gold Coast

Espiritu Santo is the largest of Vanuatu islands, home of beautiful Champagne Beach and Vatthe Conservation Area - Vanuatu's first National Park. The island's Tourism Association (Espiritu Santo Tourism Association - ESTA), has done a promotional visit to Australia's premier tourism destinations - Brisbane and Gold Coast. A total of 29 tourism industry operators from Espiritu Santo including 2 custom dancers and a 7 man string band travelled to Queensland in Australia to promote the northern islands of Vanuatu to travel agents and industry professionals in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Over 83 trade and media representatives attended the Road Show held at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane and 53 at the Holiday Inn Gold Coast event.

The guests were greeted by Brenda Andre of the VTO in custom dress and ‘warriors’ who presented them with leis. They were entertained by custom dancers and the string band. Kava was served along with drinks and finger food and short presentations were given by Air Vanuatu and Espiritu Santo Tourism Association. This was followed by all the agents visiting the stands of the attending Santo operators, including 3 Ni-Vanuatu tour operators and talking about their products and services. (Source: VTO Island Nius May 2008)

Vanuatu Round Island Relay Update

On Saturday 26th July the annual Telecom Vanuatu Round Island Relay will take place with 138km of the most amazing and unique terrains. The Round Island Relay is held every year on the Island of Efate. Teams consist of 10 runners who relay their baton right around the island, across sealed roads, rugged coral, friendly traditional villages, dirt roads, crystal clear streams, coconut plantations and picturesque white sand beaches. Contact Sure Thing Vanuatu Travel on e-mail: for flights and accommodation and they’ll put you in touch with the organisers of the event to get your team registered. (Source: Vanuatu Tourism Tribal Drum Newsletter April 2008)

Marketing Manager Vacancy Position at VTO

The Vanuatu Tourism Office requires the services of a Marketing Manager to undertake key responsibilities within their Marketing Department. The successful applicant will have considerable experience in providing leadership, a high level of customer service, planning skills, the ability to identify priorities and develop focused work plans. Previous experience and/or qualifications in a field of marketing or tourism will be highly regarded.

This position is open to all Ni-Vanuatu nationals and is based in Port Vila. The applicant must be proficient in written and spoken English and current computer software applications. Applicants who also speak French will be highly regarded. The position will be offered on a contract basis with a salary package to reflect the skills and experience of the successful applicant. For more details email:

Written applications including CV, and Educational Transcripts and two referees should be forwarded to: The Board Secretary, VTO Board of Directors, PO Box 209, PORT VILA. Applications closing date on 16th May, 2008.

Australian Tenor Bernard Hull Vanuatu Concert

Bernard Hull is a well known Australian Tenor, start of The Phantom of the Opera and Cats musicals. He has been in 2000 performances of The Phantom of the Opera, (in ten different roles nine cities and five countries). Bernard has starred in 400 shows of Cats and over twenty different principal operatic roles. He has also appeared in television and film roles. His connection to Vanuatu is through his grandfather Frank Filmer who 100 years ago was a Church of Christ missionary in the northern islands. Bernard’s mother was born on the island of Epi, her sister on Ambrym.

His concert will be held on Saturday 17th May at 7pm, at Emalus Campus Conference Room, University of the South Pacific. Tickets are available at Stanley Imports in the main street of Port Vila for 500vt each. Profits from the concert will go to JN School, Vinmavis, Malekula and Ranwadi School Pentecost. There will be security employed for the car park. For further information phone Russell in Port Vila on +678 46169.

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