Tuesday 12 September 2023, Port Vila, Vanuatu: The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) is delighted to announce the signing of a pivotal three-year Grant Funding Agreement (GFA) with New Zealand to boost destination marketing efforts. This strategic partnership is crucial in revitalising Vanuatu’s tourism industry, amplifying its global presence, and ensuring a sustainable recovery post-pandemic.
The funding infusion from New Zealand demonstrates a profound commitment to the shared vision of a thriving Pacific tourism landscape. The collaboration is bound to unlock new opportunities, creating a positive ripple effect across local economies and communities. The total estimated budget for support is over 1 million NZ Dollars.
According to Her Excellency Nicci Simmonds, New Zealand High Commissioner, “We recognise the immense potential of Vanuatu’s tourism sector and are proud to support its resurgence. Our combined efforts will foster economic growth and deepen cultural exchange between our nations.”
In contributing back to the recovery of the tourism sector and industry, the Ministry of Trade & Commerce acknowledges the support from the New Zealand Government as the focal donor for tourism in Vanuatu.
‘This funding package will further boost the efforts of the Vanuatu Tourism Office in-market so that it gives travellers confidence in travelling to Vanuatu. This will aid economic recovery and further encourage visitors to enjoy Vanuatu as a tourist destination and also New Zealand’s assistance will support the Ministry of Trade & Commerce to promote sustainable and inclusive trade as part of our institutional reform to grow our economy,’ says the Director General, Jimmy Rantes of the Ministry of Trade & Commerce.
According to the VTO CEO, the grant funding will prioritise critical areas within the industry, such as sustainable and diversification opportunities and support the destination marketing efforts that have been ongoing even during COVID-19 to ensure Vanuatu retains its market share of international visitors post-pandemic.
Adela Issachar Aru, CEO of the Vanuatu Tourism Office, commented, “This grant funding is a much-needed support for our tourism industry, which has faced many challenges. It will support us to continue promoting Vanuatu’s repositioning on the global tourism map as an adventure destination, showcasing our unique culture, amazing landscapes, and warm hospitality. We are immensely grateful to New Zealand for their steadfast support.”
The Vanuatu Tourism Assistance Programme, supported by the New Zealand Government, continues to support the development and recovery of the Vanuatu tourism sector as a contributing sector to Vanuatu’s economic growth. The programme is now in its third phase of rollout since 2014. It continues to deepen its role in delivering the priorities of the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy and works with both the Department of Tourism and the Vanuatu Tourism Office.