The objective of the week is to have collaborative discussions and validation workshops for the recovery of Vanuatu’s tourism industry.
This is to ensure destination wellbeing, resilience, diversification, and sustainability.
The Tourism Week is being supported by the Vanuatu Government, Department of Tourism, Vanuatu Tourism Office, New Zealand Government and Vanuatu Skills Partnership.
Over eighty representatives from the outer islands representing all six provinces have started arriving in Port Vila ahead of this important week which focusses on the immediate recovery, health and safety of Vanuatu, and also looks ahead at the ‘Niufala Rod Blo Tourism’.
These representatives include Secretary Generals, provincial planners, tourism managers, product development officers, tourism industry operators, and representatives from industry, agriculture, health, culture, kastom, and environment.
Invitations have also gone out to government officials, policy makers, tourism industry operators, complimentary sectors, tourism association leaders and civil society representatives.
The expected outcome of the week is to provide updates on the Immediate Recovery Plan, TamTam Travel Bubble, our National Airline, and impacts of the border closure.
Proposed programs will also be outlined to support the ongoing management of tourism for Vanuatu.
Another outcome is to align the objectives of the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (2019-2030) with the Tourism Crisis Response and Recovery Plan (VTCRRP) implementation plan and the Provincial Tourism Management Plans which forms phases 2 & 3 of the recovery plan.
There will be a consultation workshop and legislation review on the Tourism Council of Vanuatu Act No.23 of 2012 and Vanuatu Tourism Office Act Cap 142, and a workshop on the Vanuatu Sustainable Development Fund.
The welkam reception is taking place on Monday evening and includes the ‘kastom protocol blong tourism recovery’ between the Vanuatu Government and the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs (COC) between Prime Minister, Bob Loughman and the President of Malvatumauri COC, Chief Willie Plasua.
The official launching of the Safe Business Operations (SBO) Guidelines will also take place at the welkam reception.
The industry representatives from the outer islands will attend their training at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology who has been chosen as the training provider.
They will complete their training during the tourism week to ensure they return to their islands having completed this important mandatory training make sure they meet the measures required to be ‘Clean, Caring and Checked’ in order to carry out risk assessment, and compliance with health measures.
The only other activity taking place while this big group is together is a structured town clean up being led by Dr Christina Shaw from the Vanuatu Environmental Science Society with lessons to be learnt on protecting tourism assets and recyclable rubbish.
The sponsors for the Niufala Rod Blo Tourism Week include Air Vanuatu, Sun Productions, Digicel, What to Do, Department of Industry, Department of Agriculture, Lapita, The Melanesian, Origin, Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Vanuatu Christian Council, Namba Wan Wota, Vanuatu Brewery, Vanuatu Institute of Technology, Vanuatu Kaljoral Senta and Vanuatu Craft.
We look forward to all the workshops, presentations and panel sessions especially the one taking place on Thursday which is the ‘Summary Day’ with 18 Directors, CEOs and Commissioners from Vanuatu Government Statutory Body’s talking about the Niufala Rod Blo Tourism ‘Patnasip’ for the future.
It is important to use this time when there are no international tourists to not only get prepared for when the borders open in terms of health and safety, business readiness and communication, but also to plan for the ongoing development and management of the tourism sector.
This is a national collaborative effort to focus on the structure of the industry and to build a stronger, more diversified, and more resilient future for everyone that benefits from the tourism industry, both directly and indirectly.