IVS WINNERS 2017 BAXTERS-lowFor immediate release, Wednesday 12 September 2018: “We have been coming to Vanuatu for many years now and we absolutely love your country. We’ve just returned from Espiritu Santo after having a great time, so tankiu tumas for your wonderful hospitality which is a real highlight for us!”

These are the words of Mrs Alison and Mr George Baxter winners of the International Visitor Survey (IVS) AUD 500 cash prize draw competition after their survey was drawn from thousands of others last year.

This week on Tuesday, the kiwi couple visited the Information, Research and Data program of the Vanuatu Tourism Office to pick up their prize.

The competition, supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and facilitated by the Vanuatu Tourism Office for the last three years has engaged over 5,000 tourists sharing their feedback on their holiday experience in Vanuatu.

Over time, the statistics collected and analysed will provide market intelligence data to assist both the Vanuatu Tourism Office, Department of Tourism, stakeholders and the tourism industry at large, with tourism planning, marketing and decision making.

Some of the questions include how much money was spent during the holiday period and on what activities, what were the best holiday experiences recalled and what can be improved on, which islands were visited, and if there were plans for revisiting.

Results so far show that the most popular experiences tagged as number one is meeting and intermingling with the local Ni-Vanuatu, followed by the great range of tours and activities on offer, and the natural sceneries of the islands seen as untouched and unpolluted.
The upgrading of public facilities and tourism infrastructures are two key areas that visitors would like to see improved.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) and Department of Tourism (DoT) have been working hard with stakeholders to provide ways forward in enhancing the visitor experience.

An example is the launching of the Port-Vila City Tourism Ambassador programme. By allowing tourism ambassadors to be at the cruise wharf and in town during cruise ship days ready to welcome and answer to any of the visitors queries, this will continue to boost the visitor’s holiday experience.

The Chief Executive Officer of the VTO Mrs Adela Issachar Aru commends, “The Vanuatu Tourism Office acknowledges the ongoing support provided by the Government of New Zealand in ensuring that the IVS tourism project is sustainable and continues to collect vital visitor feedback to help build and improve our tourism industry. Bigfala tanktiu tumas!”