November 2005

The Travel Bug - Issue 6

P&O Announces Growth in 2006 Ship Visits for Vanuatu

Consistent with the growing demand for Vanuatu experiences, P&O have announced 55 ship visits to Port Vila in 2006 by its Pacific fleet which include Princess, Star and Sun. Vanuatu continues to be rated as the most sought after cruising experiences in surveys being conducted by the Shipping company of its passengers.

In addition to the visits to Port Vila, many of the ships also visit Luganville, the capital of Espiritu Santo, Mystery Island and other stops through the northern islands such as Pentecost. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years with Ship visits providing a consistent mode of access to many of the more remote outer island experiences. (Source: The Tribal Drum October 2005)

Destination Marketing at Work in Vanuatu

After a period of consultation and exchanging of ideas the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) The Vanuatu Tourism Association (VTA) the Vanuatu Hotel & Resorts Association (VHRA) and the Airlines (Air Vanuatu and Pacific Blue) have launched a 40% off sale into the Australian and New Zealand Markets. The program focuses on 40% off accommodation deals with substantial airlines savings on airfares. The program is designed to fill gaps in occupancy across the pre Christmas period and the period from the end of January until the end of March 2006.

Funding will be provided by all parties to the agreement to our Australian Wholesalers advertising through campaigns schedules on Sydney and Brisbane radio and a direct email campaign initiated by empowered in Australia. These two initiatives will be implemented from the week starting 25th October 2005. A TV campaign is planned for later in the year targeting the early part of 2006. The release of the special to the wholesaler’s has had a significant effect on forward bookings already and VTA spokesman Bryan Death said “the whole destination would benefit greatly from the initiative”. Mr Death said “the Destination Marketing model provided by a small country like New Zealand had worked wonders in that country and he hoped that all business that derived direct or indirect benefit from visitors to Vanuatu would see the value in supporting Destination Marketing as a concept in the future”.

John Cvetko, Marketing Manager for the VTO confirmed that Hotels participating in the program were receiving bookings and interest to fill the traditionally low season dates as a result of the 40% Off Sale message. Mr Cvetko added “that the VTO saw such combined efforts of the Tourism entities as critical to the ongoing increased destination profile of Vanuatu. The parties have already discussed the need for further collaboration to develop programs to mimic the success of the current campaign”. Mr Cvetko said “with Vanuatu Tok Tok due to take place on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th of October at Le Lagon Resort it would be an excellent talking point to raise with the visiting wholesalers to emphasise the importance of the Destination Marketing thrust both now and in the future and the positive light in which the campaign cast the industry”. (Source: The Tribal Drum October 2005)

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