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re opening 1st July JUNE PIC

Less than 30 days before we welcome our first Quarantine-free travelers!

Industry Update – ending 29 May 2022

It’s another week and the team at VTO has been actively working, to align with health travel protocols, marketing campaign relaunch and messaging, social media activities and destination brand positioning, aviation and cruise readiness programs etc., ahead of our much-anticipated border reopening in 30 days.

While the excitement and the prospect of the back to business continues to grow, we also acknowledge the many challenges ahead of us – one of those include the labor shortage.

We assure the industry that we are using all our best efforts to tackle these various issues, working in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, to provide you with the latest updates. Our team is always available, should you have any queries.

Due to our current health protocols at the Head Office in Port-Vila, we are unable to receive incoming visitors yet, however, we are happy to convene to an in-person meeting out of office, or you can simply call us or agree to a zoom e-meet.

NEW CHANGES TO TRAVEL PROTOCOLS – 01 JULY 2022

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health released last Friday afternoon the new travel protocols, which we all look forward to for 01 July 2022, when our international borders are expected to open.

The new travel protocols have been broken down into three (3) phases:
Phase I: from 28 May through to 13 June 2022 - repatriations
Phase II: from 14 June through to 30 June 2022 – repatriations
Phase III: from 01 July 2022 onward – visitors welcome

Phase I and Phase II relate to the ongoing repatriation process, Phase II is tailored as a preparatory phase, with less restrictions, towards 01 July border reopening to international visitors. For more information, please click HERE.

Below is a summary of the new changes, come 01 July 2022, which international travellers can expect under Phase III:

  • We encourage all people to follow the health advice and ensure they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This helps keep us all safe. However, there is no requirement to provide a proof of vaccination for any traveler and/or age
  • All visitors are encouraged to follow hygiene and health protocols
  • No cap on passenger arrivals
  • Pre-Departure Test Required:
    1. Before travel to Vanuatu, travellers must show results from a certified and supervised negative.
    2. Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) 24 hours prior to travel or a certificate of infection and recovery (from within 28 days of departure) will be accepted as an alternative to a negative PCR Test result.
  • No pre-registration and pre-travel approval required.

    - Note: a new passenger biometric system is currently under development. More information to come.
  • No quarantine upon arrival required, unless the passenger develops COVID-19 symptoms
  • No post-arrival covid test required, including no test required on day 2-3 of arrival. However, should a tourist tests positive during his or her stay in Vanuatu, a seven (7) days isolation in a managed Government designated and approved facility will be mandatory - this includes in hotels & resorts or other government health centers, subject to availability, at own costs.
  • No covid insurance required
  • Industry needs to maintain management and implementation of their Clean, Checked and Caring Plans through the Safe Business Operations (SBO) Program.

The provinces and Islands under Health Recovery Level 1 will be able to receive international visitors. To view the domestic travel requirements under Health Recovery Level, please click HERE.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor the health situation across the country and these travel protocols are subject to change.

This is fantastic news and we congratulate all partners and stakeholders involved, supporting the Ministry of Health through consultations, with the new changes on the travel protocols.

Again, we cannot emphasize enough that the safety of the People of Vanuatu and our visitors is our first priority.

RELOCATION OF VTO HEAD OFFICE

Following the endorsement of the Board of Directors, the Vanuatu Tourism Office will move to the ground floor (former Labor Department) within the existing Tamara Building, located next to the French Cultural Center.

This relocation is needed following the Department of Immigration’s plan to expand its services throughout the whole of Level 1 - currently existing VTO HQ.

Infrastructure work has commenced and it should take an estimate of two months prior to VTO HQ relocating downstairs.

COMMUNITY READINESS

The Department of Tourism, with support from the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health will undertake a range of community readiness awareness, commencing with Efate and its offshore islands in June.

The objectives of the community awareness campaign is to engage with the chiefs, church leaders, Schools and the community at large, on why and how we are getting prepared for the border reopening, to address the stigmatization issues and better educate people on the protocols in place.

More information will be made available through our next industry update.

WORKER ATTRACTION CAMPAIGN

The Vanuatu Tourism Office and the Department of Tourism, with support from the Australian funded Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP), and the Department of Labor will continue to support and encourage the return of the domestic labor market towards the tourism and hospitality sector, through its ongoing worker attraction campaign.

The Tourism Labour Desk currently receives interested applicants a day and all profiles are being compiled and shared with the Department of Labour through its online portal - employmentvanuatu.gov.vu

Contact:

📍 Visit the Tourism Labour Desk located within the Olympic Hotel, Port Vila

📤 Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

☎️ Call 750 1276

 

FIRST FLIGHT(S) ACTIVATION

Led by the Department of Tourism, a Border Reopening Welcome Committee has been set-up to coordinate and facilitate the first international inbound flights on 01 July.

Three Air Vanuatu flights are expected on this day, with Noumea flight arriving at 10:30am, Sydney landing at 15:25 and Brisbane making the final arrival at 23:15.

Co-chaired by the Ministry of Health, the committee also includes other members of both private and public sectors, including Airports Vanuatu and Air Vanuatu.

The first meeting is scheduled to take place next week, to review the first flights activation plan, budget and how the welcome events will look like, before all logistics are kick-off.

More information to come.

INTERNATIONAL TEAMS

  • The VTO has been working on its relaunch marketing campaign across our short haul markets of Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

  • The invitation to Vanuatu consumers campaign is a heartfelt message from the people of Vanuatu welcoming consumers back. It combines messages from our brand story and suggests that now more than ever is the time to Answer the Call of Vanuatu. The campaign will be in 2 stages.

1. Focus on brand story - starting in early June and supported by clean checked and caring messages
2. Invitation campaign will start from early July

The “Invitation” will communicate the following messages:

  • A warm welcome from the Ni-Vanuatu people
  • Vanuatu is Open for Business
  • Targeted destination messaging
  • Confidence that visitors will be welcome and there will be plenty to see and do
  • Call to action – to Answer the Call of Vanuatu

A Welkam toolkit will also be shared with the industry, to unify and boost the Welkam message feel and look to inspire our travelers to answer the call of Vanuatu. More information will come.

  • Upweighted social media activities - with the much-relaxed travel protocols issued by MoH, our international teams will be increasing our social media activities and data acquisition program, with the Always on Digital approach using some of the campaign messaging – Welkam Back to Vanuatu, starting June throughout July and August. This is to drive consumer awareness of Vanuatu and the reopening and increase the number of informative posts to actively inspire travelers.
  • Our market campaign will have different stages, with a broader Welkam feel and look in June and July followed with a more target consumer campaigns in Sept./Oct. and Dec. when we expect there will be more product open in Vanuatu and a need to drive visitation over the Oct., Nov. and Dec. 2022 and Feb., Mar. and Apr. 2023 periods.

These include recommendations for outdoor/radio advertising, digital media and cooperative marketing campaigns to drive bookings to Vanuatu for the August/September period. We expect we’ll do a combination of radio activation and outdoor spend, in addition to the digital campaign. More details to come once these are finalized.

  • All of this will be supported by a consumer media famil to Vanuatu, scheduled in August – dates to be confirmed in partnership with media partners and available operators. Currently, we are aiming for late July and early August media famil to ensure that airport processes and hotels & tours are operating effectively. Obviously, we need to be very confident the consumer experience is up to high standard when we invite media over.
  • We invite all operators, with available opening deals to be featured on our website, to contact us. A form will be provided to in order to you guide you in this process: For more information, please contact:

Mrs. Alcina Charley (Senior Website Officer) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Alexina Delaplane (Digital Assets Management Officer) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.