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Friday 22nd April 2022: It has been a busy week for the VTO team, many meetings have been attended, action plans put in place and now being worked on as we speak. It is so exciting to finally be talking about tourists being able to Answer the Call of Vanuatu again. This update is to share with industry what we have been doing this past week, we know communication is very important especially as we work together towards the border opening on the 1st July.

tourism getting ready

This Week’s updates

  • VTO and DOT management team met over the Easter break to re-draft their Reopening Plan which was also shared at the High-Level Government and Private Sector meeting this week at the Convention Center, facilitated by the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
    The 4 stages of the tourism recovery plan include:
  • Tourism Ready - Facilitate activities and policies that prepare Vanuatu and its citizens for border opening and safe travel for Vanuatu citizens, business connections, and international visitors. (April to June 2022)
  • Market Ready - Ensure Vanuatu and its tourism and aviation stakeholders are prepared for welcoming back international visitors through demand generating activities. (April to June 2022)
  • Market Opening - Implement marketing campaigns to create awareness, interest, and demand for Vanuatu in a competitive environment to generate economic benefit and dispersal of benefit. (May to September 2022)
  • Sustainable Demand and Market Diversification - Implement programs that focus on product development and supporting market diversification for the long-term growth and benefit to Vanuatu. Maintenance on traditional business models (2022 – 2023)
  • Both the VTO and the Department of Tourism have been in correspondence with the Vanuatu Hotels & Resort Association to review the draft plans for border re-opening and acknowledged the efforts coordinated by the VHRA together with the VCCI in progressing planning together with the Government.
  • VTO attended a virtual presentation meeting with Bee Digital and other various government agencies in regard to the digital platform “Vanuatu Electronic Traveller System” being fine-tuned to support border opening needs. It’s exciting to learn that our border control agencies are taking the lead in ensuring a suitable traveler electronic system is in place to go ahead of our border reopening to be as smooth and comfortable for our international and domestic travelers.
  • VTO attended a meeting with the Commissioner of Labor and the Department of Tourism to prepare the tourism workforce for recruitment and training to support industry preparedness. This also includes a worker attraction campaign with the Department of Labor including the component of training and development to be supported by training providers. More details will be shared once it is being finalized for preparing workers to integrate back into the workforce with on-the-job training opportunities.
  • VTO met with the DFAT Program Governance for Growth (GfG) to review the implementation of the market activation activities under the Vanuatu Tourism Marketing Recovery Project 2021- 2024. Our Project Coordinator, Ms. Rae Ernst, will continue to reach out and work with our industry on the preparedness for Market Ready and Market Opening phase of the Tourism Roadmap to Border Reopening.
  • The Vanuatu Skills Partnership Program and the Australian Pacific Technical College has also met and discussed opportunities to support the training and capacity building program for the re-engagement of the tourism workforce together with the Department of Tourism and VTO Team.
  • VTO met with the Governance for Growth (GfG) to review the implementation of the market activation activities under the Vanuatu Tourism Marketing Recovery Project 2021- 2024. Our Project Coordinator, Ms. Rae Ernst, will continue to reach out and work with our industry on the preparedness for Market Ready and Market Opening phase of the Tourism Roadmap to Border Reopening.
  • The Vanuatu Skills Partnership Program and the Australian Pacific Technical College has also met and discussed opportunities to support the training and capacity building program for the re-engagement of the tourism workforce together with the Department of Tourism and VTO Team.


Ministry of Health – Revised Health Roadmap

  • The Ministry of Health released this afternoon the version 1.3, (dated 21 April 2022) of the Health Roadmap to Safe Border Reopening. The document is now available on the COVID-19 website: https://covid19.gov.vu/index.php/updates/recovery-roadmap. VTO and other partners, including Air Vanuatu and Airports Vanuatu Ltd are currently reviewing the revised roadmap and will be providing feedback to the Ministry of Health for further clarifications on certain travel and testing requirements.

High-level Government and Private Sector Boarder Re-Opening Meeting.

The VTO along with the Department of Tourism (DoT), Air Vanuatu and Airports Vanuatu Ltd were asked to attend and present their reopening plans to the Government officials and private sector representatives at this high-level meeting.

There is some good progress being made and we can report the following;

  • Air Vanuatu confirmed international schedules and pricing will be available next week, for flights from the 1st July onward. The schedule will be determined based on the requirements from the new Health Roadmap.
  • The Government reaffirmed its support to Air Vanuatu throughout the recovery phase
  • The in-country labor shortages are being addressed at the Council of Ministers level, including a consideration around a “Short term” skill shortage visa for tourism businesses and other sectors
  • The Department of Tourism will continue beefing-up its Safe Business Operations (SBO) training and accreditation to ensure a maximum of operators are compliant for the reopening.
  • Airports Vanuatu Ltd will be presenting the Aviation Access Strategy to the government in the next few days, on how best to keep the current routes in operation with the national airline as well as attract other airlines to fly into Vanuatu, with the aim to increase our inbound traffic and numbers and improve our visitor spends in country,

The Department of Tourism will be putting forward their plans around business support programs and how they can be targeted towards businesses that are working towards opening for the 1st July.

International Market Activities

  • Work continues refreshing the VTO website content. Please take the time to review your listing and photos and complete the attached forms if you would like any content updated.
  • Our reps in New Zealand and Australia have been engaging with our trade partners again this past week who are eagerly awaiting protocols and requirements around the border opening. It is a good time to reach out to your wholesale trade partners in the short haul markets and ensure your contracts, rates and content is all up to date. For the latest contact details for our short haul wholesale partners click here.
  • SBO content is now loaded onto our websites in Australia and NZ along with operators who have gained accreditation.
  • Meetings are taking place with Air Vanuatu in country managers this week with our international reps to align plans around tactical campaigns.
  • The VTO’s creative agency has met with the VTO marketing team and are currently working on creative ideas for the re-opening brand campaign.
  • Sharing an update on the VTO Australia team. We bid farewell to Chris Tudehope because he is leaving us. For those who worked with him, you’ll know he’s been a valued member of the VTO team, and his love for Vanuatu is undeniable. He will be missed, and we thank him for all his hard work over the past five years! On this note, we’d like to welcome Abbey Sands, who will be taking over Chris’ role. Based in Sydney, she will be your best contact for the Australian This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please don’t hesitate to say hi – she’s so excited to join the team and meet you all as we work together ahead of Vanuatu’s border reopening.