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Inaugural Grand Manaro Trek 2022 A Huge Success


Media Release - Port Vila, 21 October 2022: The Vanuatu Tourism Office, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, and particularly the Community of Ambangga Village, located North of Ambae island, are delighted to announce the launch of the first-ever Grand Manaro Trek 2022.

The new tourism sport trekking event took place over the last week-end after months of scoping & planning.

A total of over 20 participants and a dozen of officials travelled to Longana, to launch and part take in the two days trekking up the rumbling Manaro volcano.


[Hon. Minister James Bule, the Chiefs of Ambanga and the tourism operators, upon signing the Tourism’s Nabanga Pledge, at the entrance of the Grand Manaro Trek, at Ambanga village.]


The Caretaker Minister of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, Honorable James Bule launched the 2022 Grand Manaro Trek, by announcing “This is a historical milestone for the village of Ambanga. We have been discussing this project since the early 2000s and today, we finally unveiled the moment we all have been waiting for. The Grand Manaro Trek is set to become an annual event, and I encourage all community members to come forward and together, to continue building and strengthening this new tourism attraction, which one day will be placed at the same level as Yasur Volcano in Tanna and other prominent tourism sites in Vanuatu. This is Ambae and this is our people, tourism is an important development sector and we want to see it flourish.”

“Adventure and Sporting events such as the Grand Manaro Trek are a great opportunity for the government to set foot into our remote communities to bring development and rekindle that passion for hospitality, friendliness and local hosting that is already instilled in Vanuatu culture," Geraldine Tari, Acting Director of the Department of Tourism.

"With border closure our domestic tourism market is quickly building its place for interest and demand for experiences such as this Trek that is soon to become a bucket list for many," says Mrs. Tari.

Mr. Paul Vuhu, a longtime tourism operator who has experiences on taking visitors in the past to the Manaro, was a happy operator when he welcomed the trekkers, government officials and all team members into his nakamal to share words of welcome to all.

In respect to the culture and traditions of the land owners, consultations and scoping work has been carried out by the different stakeholders and partners coordinated by the VTO & DoT teams prior to the Grand Manaro Trek taking place.
The ripple effect of this excitement has also reached the main town of Saratamata and surrounding areas with accommodation providers also geared up to accommodate participants, officials and trekking team members.

The results of the domestic tourism marketing strategy and the focus on building awareness and demand for adventure experiences is now in demand with many of our adventure seekers and experience collectors booking to experience the wonders of the famous Grand Manaro.

According to VTO, the long-term benefit of this event is huge for the people of Ambae and with the inaugural event in 2022, it will increase awareness and demand internationally for 2023 for this event.

“We have established the presence of Vanuatu in our international markets as a country that offers real-life changing adventures and the Grand Manaro Trek perfectly captures this aspect of a real-life changing adventure for trekkers and adventurers,” says CEO of VTO, Mrs. Adela Issachar Aru.
“The flow-on benefits from this trekking event will increase exponentially as more domestic and international visitors are made aware of what the island of Ambae has to offer its guests with one of the main focal points being the legendary Manaro itself,” Says Mrs. Aru.


[The camp site erected near Lake Lakua for the 2022 GMT participants]

In 2021, a two-day marketing information workshop provided VTO and Department of Tourism (DoT) staff practical knowledge about the adventure tourism market, inbound tour operators and its offering for Vanuatu.

Adventure tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of tourism worldwide as more of the baby boomers and the millennials are now creating their own adventure list of places to visit and experience as part of their life journeys. In 2018, it was worth USD683 billion (Vt 75 trillion) globally, and until the COVID pandemic arrived, was growing rapidly. Adventure tourism also produces a higher return per tourist, and up to 65% of the revenue it generates stays in the country, therefore Vanuatu offers an ideal location in many of its areas, events and offering to be another great adventure destination for the adventure traveler.

Vanuatu, with its volcanoes, coastlines, jungles, waterfalls, caves, dive sites, custom & traditions and abundance of organic food offering has a natural comparative advantage over nearby destinations for adventure tourism and is a leading adventure destination in the Pacific region.