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Unity Day was celebrated in style at the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), on Wednesday 29th November, with the official launching of a brand new destination website www.vanuatu.travel.

The website was launched by a tap of an electronic big red button on the info kiosk screen, by the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Joe Y Natuman and the NZ High Commissioner Georgina Roberts, witnessed by distinguished guests in government, donor partners, industry reps, media, management and staff of the VTO and Department of Tourism (DoT).

This is a huge milestone for Vanuatu Tourism that has boosted Vanuatu's digital platforms moving the country forward. The new website now allows visitors to access a diverse range of tourism experiences from a variety of accommodation types including activities, events, visitors option to create their wish-list itineraries, local insights, and cruise through the islands on interactive maps, watch destination videos, and many more user-friendly tools.

VTO’s vision for the site is to make it Vanuatu’s most informative information portal for travel and holidays information. Next steps will include improving the French translations, the inclusion of deals and packages, and increasing the information available. The VTO encourages everyone to provide their feedback and input and any material that may be useful in growing the content of the site. Each operator listed on the site is able to include 25 images and a video link and VTO hopes to see industry regularly updating their information.

The website, proudly funded by The New Zealand Government and coordinated by the VSTAP Implementation team under the Vanuatu Tourism Program, features 398 tourism members and accredited businesses offering diverse holiday experiences.

In her welcome remarks to all attendees, the VTO General Manager, Ms Adela Issachar Aru also thanked her hardworking team for accomplishing this milestone not just for the office, but for the tourism industry, and for the people of Vanuatu, acknowledging technical assistance from the contractors BeDigital who have overtime became well acquainted with her website team in Vila.

Mrs Aru acknowledged the New Zealand Government for funding a total of NZ$50,000 to help the office reach a comprehensive, user, multi-device compatible, and social media friendly portal for Vanuatu as a tourism destination, rich with information and diversity of experiences covering the areas on investment, agri-tourism, arts, music, culture, sports, handicrafts, and many more.

The NZ High Commissioner, Georgina Roberts in response to Mrs Aru thanked the Vanuatu Government for the firm partnership between Vanuatu and New Zealand which has resulted to successful tourism projects such as the launching of a brand new www.vanuatu.travel.

Her Excellency continued, “Today, many visitors go online to seek information about a country they wish to visit and they look for good imagery, good stories and easy to access websites so we are very excited to be part of this great achievement for Vanuatu,” she said.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office sincerely thanks the Government of Vanuatu for their support and commitment, the Government of New Zealand for the website as VTO embarks on enhancing digital marketing platforms including extending acknowledgements to all other development partners, and the tourism industry for their cooperation and support.

Bigfala Tankiu Tumas!!