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VTO celebrates a 41 years journey during the official opening of the brand new office this week.

 vanuatutravel 3Left to right: Ms Lisa Dinh, VCCI Tourism Councillor, Her Excellency Heidi Bootle, Australian High Commissioner, Hon. Minister Matai Seremaiah Nawalu, Minister of Tourism & Mr. Tony Naliupis, VTO Board Chairman.

Media Release - Port Vila, 22 February 2023: The Minister responsible for Tourism, Hon Matai Seremiah Nawalu officially opened the new Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) on Wednesday 22 February 2023.

In her welcome remarks, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VTO, Mrs Adela Issachar Aru, said “ a new office space that will allow us to work better using new tools and resources with the market, tourism industry members, stakeholders and partners so together we can rebuild and recover the Vanuatu tourism industry”. The Vanuatu Tourism Office is not a new office,” stated Adela Issachar Aru as she reflects on the past 41 years of the journey of the Vanuatu Tourism Office during her remarks.

Mrs Aru highlighted the journey of the changes and growth over time that VTO had experienced since it was first established in 1982 initially as the National Tourism Office. She outlined a recount of past Chairmans of the Board and General Managers of the Office. 

Former General Managers Ms Linda Kalpoi and Mr Peris Kalopong, including family representatives of Mr Peter Taurakoto represented by her daughter, the Late Mr Gabriel Bani who was represented by his wife and the son of Late Mr David Esrom were also present and were awarded Certificates of Acknowledgement for their services as the Leaders who took Office during their time at the Tourism Office. This award ceremony was commemorated during the new office opening.

In his official speech to launch the new office space, Honourable Matai Seremaiah Nawalu, Minister of Tourism, Trade, Commerce & Ni-Vanuatu Business stated (MTTCNB) that “It hasn’t been an easy time for the tourism industry and sector when the borders were closed in 2020”.

“However, with courage, determination, and support given by the government, it had enabled the office to continue operating and to continue to deliver work to rebuild tourism in the domestic market, whilst at the same time preparing for border re-opening”,  said the minister

“Today I'm happy that the borders have already opened and tourists have started travelling back to Vanuatu as their holiday destination,” said the Hon. Minister.

Hon. Minister Matai further highlighted that the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy, which is the strategy to implement the Sustainable Tourism Policy, sets out a number of targets. One of those targets is well-being through high-value low-impact tourism and of which he hopes that the Office team will continue to consider in their marketing efforts to attract that type of tourist traveller to the destination.

The Minister appealed to the Chairman of the VTO board, Board of Directors, CEO and the staff to continue to work in this new office to grow tourism for Vanuatu and to work closely with every airline and cruise ship big and small travelling to Vanuatu and outer islands to ensure proper circulation of money throughout the country.

The new office space located at the Tamarama Building which was the former French Embassy, now includes a  new Travel Information Centre facing out onto the main street of Port Vila, opposite Western Union providing services of tourist information, reservations and bookings for all travellers both local and international.

The new Office Space will allow for staff, tourists and business operators to move more freely for one-to-one business networking, seeking marketing information, providing deals and product updates, getting involved in trade exhibition activities, participating in marketing storian sessions and working collaboratively with all partners. 

The new office is located on the ground floor of the Tamarama Building and is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm in the afternoon for all queries regarding tourism promotions and marketing opportunities. 

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