Vanuatu’s Prime Minster commits to tourism

Ted Drew Air Vanuatu
Gayle Stapleton ANZ
Prime Minister Vanuatu

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu was joined by several Ministerial colleagues, advisors and foreign diplomats on Thursday morning for the official opening of Tok Tok 2009, Vanuatu’s annual travel show, taking place in the heart of the capital city, Port Vila.

In his opening speech, The Hon Edward Nipake Natapei Tutufanua’ariki said that tourism was without question the most important industry in Vanuatu with the Government fully committed to supporting Tok Tok and the future development and growth of tourism in Vanuatu.

The attendance at Tok Tok of the Prime Minister and his senior Ministers, including the Minister for Tourism and the Head of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, is a clear reflection and indication of the Government of Vanuatu’s commitment to tourism and its contribution to the Vanuatu economy.

The Prime Minister was joined on the podium by Gayle Stapleton, GM of ANZ Bank Vanuatu, a major sponsor of Tok Tok, who also confirmed the bank’s commitment to tourism, highlighting that along with the Cook Islands, Vanuatu was the only country in the Pacific to be projecting double digit growth in 2009, when there was supposedly a global recession.

With approximately forty buyers and seventy sellers attending Tok Tok, Ted Drew, Head of Sales and Marketing for Air Vanuatu told me that it appeared that Vanuatu had escaped most of the global downturn, with Air Vanuatu’s business strong and while yield was down, volume was good. 

Vanuatu has enjoyed strong visitor arrivals in the first half of the year, up 15.3% compared to the first six months of 2008, led by visitors from Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The Prime Minster also announced a new brand campaign for Vanuatu to be launched in November, also highlighting the Government was very pleased with Pacific Blue and Air New Zealand’s entry in to the market, which had substantially increased capacity.

An e-TravelBlackBoard on location report from Tok Tok Vanuatu 2009, by John Alwyn-Jones , e-TravelBlackBoard’s Special Correspondent

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.A.J
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