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Monday 30th September 2013 Issue 30

Inside: News from the office VTO Out n About Industry News Trade & Media Events & Festivals Entertainment

News from the office Condolence Message - Ms Angela Heilala

The Executive of the Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association and the VTO were shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Angela Heilala late evening of Thursday 3rd October, last week. On being appointed to the role of General Manager of the Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts association at the beginning of the year, Angela quickly established herself as a leader in the tourism industry of Vanuatu and she will be greatly missed. Mr Allan Kalfabun, Acting GM & Marketing Manager of VTO says, “Angela played a key role in bringing together the private sector and government institutions. The industry will greatly miss her for this, as well as her professionalism, her passion for tourism, and most of all her friendship”. On behalf of the members of the VHRA, the association’s executive committee, VTO and the tourism industry, we extend our deepest sympathies to Angela’s family and community for their loss. We pray for God’s peace to comfort hearts through these dark times. Rest in peace lady Angela Heilala (pictured right.)

VTO updates all website listings this week

Regional Tourism Executive Training Workshop attended by the VTO

Media release: Twelve tourism representatives from Cook Islands, Federal States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu were in Nadi, Fiji, from September 09 to 14 attending a Regional Tourism Executive Training Workshop. The aim of the course was to train regional assistant managers - since they are immediate successors to their managers, to ensure they are well versed and updated in key managerial roles, as well as equip key tourism players to analyze and set strategic directions in an informed and analytical manner. The South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific – School of Tourism and Hostelry Management (USPSTHM), facilitated the training, with support from the Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme funded by the European Union under the 10th EDF. The programme content had been carefully designed and emphasized sustainable tourism planning and development, best practices in destination management, global tourism trends, tourism product development, destination marketing, country updates and innovation in tourism. The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) Trade, Events & Market Research Manager, Mr. Sebastien Bador, said “This regional workshop was a good opportunity to meet and work with other South Pacific tourism stakeholders, and share views and experiences on tourists demographics, activities, challenges and successes, which gave me a better understanding of our competitor’s assets and weaknesses.” Additionally, Mr Bador commented, “The presentations by well-established private sector professionals reassured me that Vanuatu Tourism Office is on the right track in regards to niche market promotions, marketing campaigns, and branding. I also learned tips on how to further enhance our marketing activities, especially via e-Marketing, social media networking, ecotourism and food tourism.” For more information visit:

The Vanuatu Tourism Office webmaster Ms Alcina Charlie, will be cross checking all accommodation and activities listed on the website this week with tourism associations members list and will be removing products that have not renewed their registration with their associations, for 2013-2014. Similarly, island bungalows that have not met minimum standards as given by the Department of Tourism, will be removed from the website until bungalows have upgraded as required by the national bungalows evaluation process. VTO is asking all products listed in to contact chairpersons of their tourism association to make sure that they are up to date with their membership to avoid removal. Bungalow owners must contact their provincial product development officers or the Department of Tourism on phone 26020 to confirm their bungalow’s status.

Publisher: VTO. Host : Design & Cover: David Kirkland. Images: VHRA, ESTA, Miss Vanuatu committee, Nabanga tours, Mark Remedy, Welkam Magazine. © All rights reserved. This electronic magazine may not be reproduced in any form, in whole, or part, without the consent of the publisher. The VTO can not be held liable for any information contained in the advertisements. COPYRIGHT: VANUATU TOURISM OFFICE. Vanuatu Tourism Office, PO Box 209, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Ph (678) 22515 / 22685. Email Web

VTO Staff Out & About Last week, VTO staffers were seen at the Beef House and also on Ifira Island with reps from the private sector, the Department of Tourism and Ministry of Tourism.

Local Industry

FM107 Radio Tourism Program

FM107 has recently launched a Tourism Radio Program produced by DJ Brian Tete. The program promotes tourism development and creates local as well as international awareness on upcoming tourism events and activities to attract more visitors to Vanuatu shores. The radio show is aired every Thursday and Sunday, at 12pm. The VTO thanks FM107 Management for their support in promoting Vanuatu Tourism, through radio, overseas as well as nationally.

Whale shark gets up close with diver at Coolidge

This week, Espiritu Santo Tourism shared with the VTO a short video clip, filmed by Liam Donnelly of Santo Island Dive, of a 5meter juvenile female whale shark swimming with Matthew and guests of Santo Island Dive on the SS President Coolidge on Sunday 29 September 2013. The shark spent about 30 minutes with the divers around the boat and seemed interested in the divers while at the same time feeding on the plankton. Thank you Espiritu Santo Tourism Association for sharing. View video here or click on image.

Sydney PADI examiner congratulates local dive instructors

Five new Ni-Vanuatu and one expat PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) Open Water Scuba instructors successfully completed their dive program with Big Blue last week, and from Espiritu Santo was Lionel Jimmy of Allan Power Dive Tours. This quote from the PADI examiner Mr Colin Melrose, to the aspirants, “The candidates worked very hard both individually and as a team during the PADI Instructor Development Course and fully deserve the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor ratings.” He continues, “Great scores throughout their IE and a willingness to learn from mistakes and counseling, ensures these new Ni Van instructors will have a great future in diving.” Vanuatu Tourism Office and PADI extend their congratulations to all five dive instructors and look forward for… Read more.

Local Industry Air Vanuatu releases great companion fares

Media release 08 October 2013: Air Vanuatu has launched special fares for companions travelling together from Sydney and Brisbane to Vanuatu over the summer months. Travelling companions can book return flights to Port Vila for as low as AUD491 from Brisbane or AUD551 from Sydney, including taxes. The special fares apply to companions travelling together in groups of two or more, and travel must take place between 28 October and 8 December 2013; and 20 January and 30 March 2014. Book by 31st October 2013.

Miss Vanuatu prepares for Miss Asia Pacific Contest!

Miss Valerie Martinez winner of this year’s Miss Vanuatu has been accepted to enter into Miss Asia Pacific international contest after successfully completing all requirements for registration including online voting which has kick-started this week. This is a milestone achievement for Vanuatu and the committee congratulates Miss Vanuatu for this. VTO is asking everyone to go online and vote for Miss Vanuatu here.

Nambanga Tours launches Melanesian Feast

Available dates include Valentine’s Day and the special fares combined with Vanuatu’s romantic getaway options are likely to appeal to couples. The island nation also offers a variety of accommodation and activities making it an ideal location for a girls' or boys’ weekend away. Anne Morris, Vanuatu Tourism Office’s Australian representative said the deals will encourage more Australians to consider Vanuatu for a holiday over the coming months. “As we enter the low season it is special airfares such as this that will encourage people to travel to the islands as it is so affordable, which is fantastic,” Ms Morris said. “When you can fly abroad to such a fascinating and welcoming country for the same price as travelling to another state in Australia, it’s definitely worth considering for a short getaway, or a longer holiday.” Agents looking for further information can visit and for more information on Vanuatu visit Ends Media Contact Anne Morris +61 2 9028 3577

Nambanga Tours has added a new product to their array of offers & activities for visitors. This week the tour company has launched its very own Nabanga’s Melanesian Feast at the tranquil jungle settings of Esum Multi-Cultural Village where guests can relax and enjoy cultural performances, watch traditional magic demonstrations, sand drawings, custom dances from Ambrym, and indulge on aelan kaekae (island feast). For more information, go to 4&set=a.145785975593567.1073741826.145779268927571&type =1&relevant_count=1

Welkam magazine issue 17 now online

The latest online flip page version for Welkam magazine (issue 17) can now be viewed and is free for public to use and promote by forwarding and sharing the link with trade, media as well as consumers and potential visitors. Click here & below image to view.

Events & Festivals New reggae/rap group “Realistic” to play at Fest Napuan

Islandtime To Go I Direct To Over 5000 Australian Travel Agents Written By Mark “Remedy” Taiki: Over the years Vanuatu has seen the cultivation of musical talent through entities such as the Wan Smol Bag Youth centre and the Fest’Napuan Festival. From these avenues a new group has emerged bringing with it a unique sound. A newly formed band called “Realistic” has innovatively combined the genre of reggae and rap into their music. Press release 1st October, 2013: Islandtime Magazine is excited to announce its expansion into the Australian travel trade market. At present, Islandtime Magazine is being mailed to New Zealand travel agent agencies and an online version is emailed to an extensive database of travel contacts. But from the upcoming November / December 2013 issue, Islandtime will significantly increase its reach, with an all-new e-zine going direct to over 5000 Australian travel agents. "Islandtime is still the only trade magazine dedicated to South Pacific travel, both in New Zealand and Australia, so this is a great opportunity for all Pacific travel businesses to get in front of their two biggest markets with a unique South Pacific message," says Fran McDermott, Islandtime Publisher. The new e-zine will be designed for both desktop and tablet screens, plus there will be numerous opportunities to interact with online readers. For more information please email Fran McDermott at or call 021 557 170.

Their name ties in with their content and ambition to portray life in Vanuatu without any filters . This 9 piece band consists of members from Ambrym, Malekula, Santo, Ambae, Kiribati , and Tongoa. Heavily influenced by Anthony B , their lead singer John Tantan draws most of his inspiration from the many social issues faced by the underprivileged youth of Vanuatu. In addition to that, the band has successfully merged its sound with Vanuatu’s very own rapper, A1. Over the past few years he has consistently released successful singles and performed at numerous venues in Port Vila. In an industry saturated in reggae music, Realistic’s fusion of genres makes it distinct from the others. They are currently working on releasing a few singles however their next big gig will be at the Fest Napuan Festival (16th to the 20th October). For more information visit

Events & Festivals

Events & Festivals

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