July 2006

The Travel Bug - Issue 17

Vanuatu is King of the Tribal Councils

With Australia’s Channel Seven network today announcing the full cast for its latest venture, Celebrity Survivor, Vanuatu has become the king of locations for the global survivor concept. Celebrity Survivor follows hot on the heels of the French Survivor series which was filmed in Vanuatu earlier this year and the American Survivor - Series 9 from 2004. Both Celebrity Survivor and the French Survivor series – Koh Lanta, are scheduled for airing later in the year.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office’s Linda Kalpoi stated “there are few places left on the planet that provide the access and diversity of landscape and strong living Tribal culture content to make a survivor show possible. Vanuatu is the in place at the moment and as more people see what it has to offer we think it will continue to travel that way”.

The latest offering will be hosted by Ian "Dicko" Dickson, best known as the Judge on Australian Idol, cast in the similar character to American Idol’s Simon Cowell. Some well-known and not so well-known faces will be pitted against each other to battle the elements in Vanuatu. Seven set the Survivor press machine in motion last week announcing pin-up girl Imogen Bailey, former ironman Guy Leech and politician David Oldfield and Gabrielle "The Pleasure Machine" Richens as contestants. Today Seven announced the rest of the cast which include former Home and Away star Nicolle Dickson, Princess Mary's bridesmaid Amber Petty, past Wallabies vice-captain Elton Flatley and world motorcycle champ Wayne Gardner. The stars have entered their second week at a secluded location in the heart of Vanuatu where they were landed with just the clothes on their back and one item they couldn't live without. In a better spirited outcome than other survivor series, The winner of Celebrity Survivor will have $100,000 donated to the charity of their choice and each of the other contestants will have $5,000 donated to their chosen charity. (Source: VTO Press Release 07/06/2006)

PROFIT in the Pacific 2006 – Le Lagon Resort, Port Vila, Vanuatu

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Asia Pacific’s premier travel industry association, and CDE/ PROINVEST, a programme of the European Union charged with promoting investment in the South Pacific, have joined forces to bring PROFIT in the PACIFIC to Vanuatu in 2006. The event will be held at the Le Lagon Resort on November 29th to the 1st of December. PROFIT in the PACIFIC delivers a unique platform for business and investment opportunities to tourism entrepreneurs who seek investment support for their projects and investor enterprises from the EU and other countries. PROFIT in the PACIFIC features ‘one-to-one’ meetings between prospective partners as well as a conference programme addressing the most significant issues and trends in Pacific tourism.

World Game Fishing Records Tumble in Vanuatu

Game fishers are finding there’s no need to head to the mid-Pacific, the Bahamas or Bermuda to indulge their passion – under a half-day’s travel from the east coast they can be in Vanuatu and amid some of the toughest ocean fighters to be found anywhere. And anglers are lining up to go in the record books at the same time: earlier this year a husband and wife team from NSW laid claim to no less than seven world records, including one for landing a 35kg wahoo on a 16lb test tippet... believed to be the largest wahoo ever caught on a fly.

Other light tackle and fly fishing records are being claimed by the couple and other Australian and international anglers for massive dogtooth tuna, wahoo, giant trevally, sailfish, red bass, yellowfin tuna, marlin, sailfish and coral trout. Organised live-aboard 5-night and longer fishing trips go out of capital Port Vila regularly for the most popular fishing spots – off Espiritu Santo and the remote Banks Islands where volcanic outcrops, reefs and seamounts provide ideal fishing opportunities; trips include accommodation and onboard meals and there are bar facilities to discuss the ones that got away at the end of the day. Anglers can also take a break if they wish to go ashore and visit local villages, bushwalk, swim and meet the locals.

New Caledonia Scoops Harbour in Vanuatu Swim

French New Caledonian swimmers scooped the pool with mens and womens 1st places in the Vanuatu Ocean Swim in Port Vila. World 200m freestyle champion Solene Figues swam a dogged race with Australian Shelley Clarke, then beat the Australian with a six-beat kick at the finish to win the women’s race in 39:26.6, 2.49 seconds ahead of Clarke, while Benoit Riviere (38:47.26) took the men’s race from two other Australians, Shane Olliver (39:46.42) and Scott Prosser (41:19.57). The 5th running of the Vanuatu Ocean Swim, starting and finishing at Iririki Island Resort, saw some of the best racing in the history of the event, with 94 starters over 3.2 km swim, and 22 over 1.5 km.

In the men’s race, Riviere, shortly to swim for New Caledonia at the Oceania Games in Cairns, swam head to head with Olliver, a leading swimmer on the Sydney ocean swimming circuit, before pulling away in the final metres. The women’s race was even closer. Clarke, who is about to swim 5 km and 25 km for Australia in the World Open Water Championships in Italy, said Figues got away from her in the second half of the race. First ni-Vanuatu swimmer home for the third year running was Tanna’s Tom Sam. Tom wins a trip to Sydney to swim at the Cole Classic in February and The Big Swim.

Of Fijian swimmers, Lorraine Patterson was 4th female and 3rd in the Women’s 20-29 in 52:47.9. Luke McGrath was 8th male in 49:19.57. Swim organiser, Paul McCoy, thanked event sponsors. “Without the support of our sponsors, this event could not go ahead,” McCoy said. Many of the Vanuatu swimmers will head now to Espiritu Santo for the 2nd Espiritu Santo Aore Swim on Tuesday (June 20). For further information contact Paul McCoy ph Vanuatu: 53558. (Source: South Pacific Sports Promotions 17/06/2006)

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