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The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) is the Vanuatu Government’s statutory authority responsible for international and domestic tourism marketing.

VTO understands that privacy and proper handling of personal information is important to you and our privacy policies are based on respect for international standards of information privacy protection. This also applies to VTO’s handling of personal information across all its offices (in Vanuatu and internationally), online and offline.

 

1. What personal information does VTO collect?

The types of personal information that we collect will depend on the nature of your dealings with us. For example, we may collect personal information directly from you when you:

  • subscribe to a newsletter or register to receive information (e.g. through VTO's website);
  • apply to attend or exhibit at a VTO travel trade event, or enter a promotion at such an event;
  • register to participate in our Vanuatu Specialist travel agent familiarisation programs or webinars;
  • Have business dealings with us (whether as an employee of one of our external service providers, or if you work for a Government agency we deal with, or in the context of a transaction, or if you volunteer personal information to us).

In each case, we only collect the personal information that we need to carry out our specific functions. For example:

  • if you are a travel agent who registers for one of our travel agent/wholesaler programs via one of our websites, we will collect your name, gender, date of birth, job title, email address and business contact details;
  • if you are a traveller or tourist who registers to receive electronic newsletters from us we will collect your name, address, email address, age group and information about what type of holiday you are looking for. This is so we can make sure we can provide you with material which is likely to be of the most interest to you; and
  • if you deal with us in the course of business, we will generally only collect your business contact details (so we can communicate with you for normal business purposes).

We also collect personal information about our employees and contractors (personnel records) for our internal use. This information may be shared with other Vanuatu government agencies.

 

2. How does VTO use personal information?

We need to collect personal information so that we can provide you with the publications or services you have requested, or so that we can carry out specific statutory functions (or both). The particular purpose for which we collect personal information will either be explained when we collect that information, or will be obvious from the context in which it is collected. We may only use personal information for the particular purpose we collected it for, or for other purposes that are directly related to that purpose.

If we want to use personal information for any other purpose we must obtain your consent. If we use your personal information to send you information by email (including e-newsletters), we will always give you an opportunity to "unsubscribe", and we will respect your wishes.

 

3. Will your personal information be given to anyone else?

VTO makes only limited disclosures of personal information. Examples of these disclosures are explained below.

VTO does share personal information that it has collected in the course of conducting trade events with other Vanuatu tourism industry stakeholders. These authorities may include (but are not limited to) the Department of Tourism, Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association (VHRA), Vanuatu Tour Operators Association (VTOA), and the Vanuatu Scuba Operators Association (VSOA). 

Such disclosure is notified when that personal information is collected. We may also disclose personal information to external service providers who help us operate our business (eg Website/IT consultants, publishing houses). If VTO engages external service providers, we require those contractors to comply with contractual privacy obligations that reflect VTO's own strict privacy obligations.

In the context of VTO’s media and travel trade familiarisation events and programs, personal information may only be disclosed with the consent of participants in that program. For example, with consent, personal information about participants may be disclosed to organisations involved in the Vanuatu tourism industry such as airlines, hotels, tour operators and product suppliers.

However, there will be no disclosure of this personal information without consent. Otherwise, VTO will only disclose personal information with your express consent, or if this is required by Vanuatu law.

One example of where disclosures may be required by law will be where a request is made under the Right to Information Act. However, if access is sought to a record containing your personal information by a third person, RTI Act procedures that are designed to protect your privacy will apply.

 

4. Security of personal information

VTO takes the security of your personal information seriously. Most electronic records of personal information collected by VTO are stored in databases are hosted on servers in Vanuatu. Some records (relating to consumers) are stored in databases that are hosted on servers in our overseas offices, or on servers owned by VTO’s IT service providers outside of Vanuatu.

In each case, our IT systems are protected by appropriate IT security measures. If you do not live in Vanuatu, and we want to store your personal information on servers that are located in Vanuatu, we will generally ask you to consent to this at the time we collect personal information from you.

If you don't want your personal information to be transferred to Vanuatu, please don't provide us with your personal information. If you have dealt with VTO in the past, and don't want your personal information stored in Vanuatu, you can ask to be removed from our databases at any time (using the contact details in section 7 below).

We also require our staff to ensure that paper records containing personal information are stored securely. VTO’s personnel are bound by confidentiality obligations as a condition of their employment, and this extends to ensuring that personal information collected by VTO is kept confidential.

 

5. Access and correction

Under Vanuatu's Right to Information Act, you have the right to seek access to the records of personal information that VTO holds about you. You also have the right to ask us to alter your personal information to ensure it is accurate and up to date. If you wish to access the personal information that we hold about you, please set out your request in writing, and forward this to VTO using the contact details set out at the end of this Privacy Policy.

 

6. Online privacy issues

If you use VTO’s websites, you are understood to consent to the terms and conditions set out on our websites. This includes consenting to the terms of this privacy policy. In general, you can visit VTO’s websites without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information about yourself.

However there are times when we may need to collect personal information from you. For instance, if you register to receive our publications or to attend an event, we will need to collect some personal information from you. At the time of collection, we will seek your permission to send you further electronic communications, and for your personal information to be stored in databases that are hosted outside of Vanuatu.

If at any time after submitting your personal information to us you would no longer like to receive information from us, simply follow the "unsubscribe" directions at the end of any email communications you receive, or contact us using the contact details below.

No attempt will be made by VTO to identify website users or their browsing activities except in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect server logs. The statistics and log files may be preserved indefinitely and used at any time and in any way necessary to prevent security breaches and to ensure the integrity of the information supplied by VTO.

In general on VTO’s websites, IP addresses (the Internet address of a computer) are logged to track a user's session while the user remains anonymous. We analyse this data for certain trends and statistics, such as which parts of our site users are visiting and how long they spend there. We do not link your IP addresses to anything that identifies you. In those limited cases where session information is not anonymous, VTO will provide notice of the practice and an opportunity to "opt out".

When we receive information about your session or about you, we may also use it for research or to improve our site and the services we offer you.

a) Cookies By using or accessing any of VTO websites, you are consenting to VTO's use of Cookies. "Cookies" are small text files that may be placed on your hard drive by your browser for record-keeping purposes. A cookie helps us remember who you are. Cookies can make your subsequent visits to VTO's website(s) simpler and more seamless.

You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether or not to accept it. (However, by not accepting cookies, some web pages may not display properly or you may not be permitted to access certain information.) A server cannot find out a name or email address or anything personal about a user's computer by using cookies.

VTO uses cookies to analyse user activity in order to improve its website. VTO also uses these cookies, including those from third party partners for marketing purposes. These cookies allow us to display our and the third party's promotional material targeted to your region/state/country on our website and on other websites you subsequently visit where this is allowed. Cookies can easily be deleted from your browser's cookie file if you wish.

b) Online security VTO strives to ensure the security, integrity and privacy of personal information submitted to our sites, and periodically updates its security measures as required. You need to be aware of inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the Internet. VTO cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any personal information you submit to our sites.

If you have concerns in this regard, VTO has other ways of obtaining and providing information. Normal postal and telephone facilities are also available.

VTO sites may also be linked to websites operated by third parties. These links are meant for your convenience only.

Links to third party sites do not constitute sponsorship or endorsement or approval of these sites. Visitors to those sites should refer to their separate privacy policies and practices.

 

7. Additional information

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, or if you wish to make a complaint about how VTO has handled your personal information, please contact us using the contact details below:

 

By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By post:
Vanuatu Tourism Office,
PO Box 209,
Port Vila,
Vanuatu

By telephone: +678 22685

 

The Vanuatu Tourism Office periodically reviews its Privacy policy and reserves the right, at its discretion, to modify or remove portions of this policy at any time.