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Page: Travel Bug 45 - November 2008 Vanuatu travel news

Travel Bug 45

Issue 45 - November 2008

Port Vila Day - Saturday 29th November

This week, Port Vila has been busy with activities and the air filled with live band music as of yesterday to build up momentum for Port Vila Day - Saturday 29th November. The venue for this special event is along Seafront Park, where food stalls have been built. Program includes cultural dances from Tanna island, Tuvalu, Merelava and Banks region. There are also Ambrym, Hip hop shows, string band competitions, pop band shows, fun competitions like Tug of Wars, pigs and ducks race, comedy drama shows. At the end of the ceremony, at 1.30pm, there will be an outrigger canoe race at sea front, followed by a semi marathon. (Source: VTO Island Nius November 2008)

New VTO Australian Representative Sought

Vanuatu is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the region. An archipelago of 83 tropical islands situated in the SW Pacific, just a little over two hours flying time from Australia, it offers a wide range of authentic tourism experiences, with a sophisticated blend of cultures and unspoilt tropical environment. Served by 13 flights per week from Australian ports, Australia is Vanuatu’s largest source tourism market. The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) is the statutory body that coordinates destination marketing for the country and as part of this role, engages representatives in key markets like Australia.

Due to the retirement of the existing representative, the VTO seeks to contract the services of a dynamic, motivated and well connected Representative to actively promote a newly revamped brand and advocate for Vanuatu as a destination with wholesalers, agents, and at trade and consumer shows. The Australian representative will be a key driver of sales from this market. The person will be focused on identified target markets in key urban, regional and rural areas as well as selected growth centres in Australia. The person will need to be focused, able to travel, and well experienced in the emerging trends of the Australian outbound travel market. This is a one year contract with renewal options, and is an opportunity for a seasoned travel marketing professional to become engaged in an exciting boutique tourism destination.

Submit proposal to Vanuatu Tourism Office, PO Box 209, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Tel:  +678 22515. Fax: +678 23889. Email: gmanager(at) Proposals may be submitted by hard copy, fax or email by 4pm, Friday 28 November, 2008.

Goodies Exchange opens new outlet

Goodies Exchange is one of the best known gift shops in Port Vila. Recently they have opened a new, small outlet next to "Wu Gift Shop" opposite the Post Office. The small branch operates 6 days a week from Monday till Saturday, from 8.00 till 11.30 and 1.30 pm till 5pm. Please note that on cruise ships and public holidays, only the main Goodies Exchange shop will be open, located in front of El Gecko Restaurant. (Source: VTO Island Nius November 2008)

Vanuatu Tourism Awards Nominations Extended until 18th November

Nominations for 2008 Vanuatu Tourism Awards were originally open until Friday, the 14th November. But the closing date has been now extended until close of Business Tuesday the 18th November. Entry and nomination forms can be collected from and submitted to: Adventures in Paradise, Le Lagon Resort, Moorings Hotel, and VTO - Vanuatu Tourism Office.

The scope of the awards has been broadened this year to include these new categories: Best Restaurant/Catering Service, Best New Tourism Development, Best Specialist Tourism Service. Operators/Individuals can enter the category they consider best suited to their business. Judges will assess each nomination on its merit with more emphasis in 2008 on the operation rather than the presentation of the nomination itself. If you wish to enter your tourism business in the awards, please note that payment via cheque is to be address to VTA (Victorian Tourism Awards).

The 2008 Tourism Awards will culminate in a gala dinner to be held at Le Lagon Resort on Saturday 6th December, 2008. Tickets are available from the nomination form distribution outlets listed above in the first paragraph. Table bookings are only accepted so please arrange to celebrate another record year for the Vanuatu Tourism Industry with a group of friends/colleagues and diarise the date now! (Source: VTO Island Nius November 2008)

Saint Andrew’s Day Cultural Festival

The Saint Andrew’s Day Cultural Festival, held from Tuesday Nov 25 to Sunday Nov 30, on Rah Island is a big highlight in the Vanuatu tribal experience calendar. The event occurs only once a year and includes 3 days of extraordinary, unique and authentic cultural activities in a truly stunning location. Rah Island has picture postcard white sand beaches, one of the best views in Vanuatu of three nearby volcanic islands, coral reefs and a picturesque lagoon for swimming, a forest for bushwalking, activities on the mainland plus a truly incredible community with great hospitality.

Guests stay in thatched bamboo bungalows by the beach or the lagoon. Meals are ‘island gourmet’ local style. You can have crab, lobster and fish which you can help catch each day. This is a magical place hidden from the modern world. You can relax and unwind, explore land or sea, take part in the unique coconut leaf custom fishing event, enjoy the cultural festival, meet the local people and do tours on the mainland. (Source: VTO Island Nius)

VTO at 2009 Consumer Travel Shows in NZ

The Vanuatu Tourism Office New Zealand representative has confirmed that Vanuatu will have a presence at the Consumer Travel Shows in New Zealand in early 2009:
- Flight Centre Show - Auckland 31 Jan. - 1 Feb. 2009
- House of Travel Show - Auckland 22 February 2009
- Flight Centre Show - Christchurch 22 February 2009.
Should the trade wish to participate in any of these shows and be part of the Vanuatu stand they will need to make contact with the VTO NZ Representative - Jacquie Carson for further details and costs. Jacquie Carson - NZ Representative, Vanuatu Tourism Office, P.O.Box 17427, Greenlane, Auckland. Ph: (09) 2776060. Email:

10 Years of Espiritu Santo Tourism Association

The Espiritu Santo Tourism Association was formed 10 years ago. A considerable progress has been made since then, making Santo island more and more popular with Vanuatu visitors. With successful Brisbane and Gold Coast promotions of Espiritu Santo and direct Air Vanuatu flights to Santo, the island is reaping the rewards and looking towards a bright tourism future. Read the full information in the ESTA's Chairman Report for 2008.

Vanuatu Swims Promotion at Fiji Ocean Swim

The Fiji Ocean Swim was held at Plantation Island again this year for the second time. The last year's swim was held at Mana Island. The Fiji Ocean Swim is a sister swim that also promotes the Vanuatu Ocean Swim and the Espiritu Santo Aore Ocean Swim. The Fiji Ocean Swim is also part of the sister swim agreement between the Cole Classic swim in Manly and the Big Swim in North Sydney Australia. The Fiji Ocean Swim was attended by Joe Iautu Trade and Events Officer of the Vanuatu Tourism Office. The VTO has been promoting the Two Vanuatu swims since the start of the Event in Fiji in 2005. The Swim started with Breakfast swim with the Champions and swim clinic that was held on Friday (Oct 17th) at the Fiji Ocean Swim Venue. This is an informal, fun affair, where competitors get a chance to fire questions at some of the world's best distance swimmers and coaches and also the event itself. Our panel this year included Australian 10km Open Water Champion Kate Brookes-Peterson, inspirational US Masters swimmer and four-time English Channel swimmer, Anne Cleveland, and Kate's coach John Papuni and Paul and I on Swims locations.

The 1.5km and 3km events were held on Saturday the 18th starting at 8:30am, and the 10km on Sunday the 19th is starting at 8am. The 10km doubles as the Fiji National Open Water Swimming Championships, and also includes a 5 x 2km relay event. The 10km was an interesting race with a record number of both overseas and local entries still coming in which end up to 30 participants on the race day. The swim festival ended up with presentation of awards. Vanuatu Swims name was mentioned many times as interested swimmers would like to take the challenge to swim across the Segond channel in 2009. For more information contact Joe on, VTO Trade & Events Officer. (Source: VTO Island Nius October 2008)

Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange 2009 Registrations

The BFTE Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange 2009 will be held on 2-6 June at the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club Pro Shop Lawn with the Sheraton Fiji Resort & the Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa being hosts to this prestigious event. Please be reminded that space is limited and the secretariat suggests you advice and encourage colleagues to REGISTER NOW! For more information, contact BFTE Secretariat on email: Phone: [679] 3380683/9319174 Fax: [679] 3380758. P O Box 17506, Suva, Fiji Islands. (Source: VTO Island Nius October 2008)

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