Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 September 2014

Radio New Zealand Intl (RNZI) gave the first reporting of the new study on cruise tourism pumping funds into Vanuatu: over USD 31 million coming into the economy annually. The study was commissioned and funded by Carnival Australia cruise lines along with the Australian Government and the World Bank group member the International Finance Corporation. First announced to the travel industry in Port Vila on Monday, by Carnival, Australian High Commissioner Bruer and Vanuatu Trade Minister Lini, the report was made public in Apia later the same day by Vanuatu PM Natuman and Australian Foreign Minister Bishop. PM Natuman pointed out that there are twice as many cruise ship arrivals in Vanuatu annually as those arriving by air. Samoa and Tonga are also expected to be able to benefit from the findings of the study. Tourism is said to be vital to the sustainable growth of Pacific islands, contributing an estimated 11 per cent of the region’s GDP and 13 percent of employment in 2012 according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Many viewpoints are likely to be expressed in the social media. Tony has already pointed out to this news Digest that twice the number of "day" visitors via cruise ship, compared to tourists arriving by air for "much longer stays", suggests the latter would spend a lot more than the $240,000 estimated to arrive with each cruise vessel. He adds that the 3,000 jobs in the tourism industry cannot be associated with cruise ship visitors alone. Daily Post carries an extensive report on the new study today. Vanuatu Daily News Digest would simply further question the role of the new Convention Centre if only a third of our tourism arrivals are by air. Could this edifice not be better employed as a new Government Building?

New leases are now able to be issued for all categories of land dealings, Radio Vanuatu and Post announced this morning. This means both rural and urban leases and for new subdivisions in rural areas as well as for changes of lease type in rural areas. All lease types are again available and in compliance with the new leasing legislation introduced late last year.

Ten sanitation workmen from the Municipality and two market cleaners have been suspended by the Municipality owing to public complaints concerning garbage collection, Daily Post reports.

Of particular interest to township householders will be the UNELCO Commercial Director’s explanation in Post today of the system used for billing customers based on previous consumption history. This is said to be necessary when access cannot be provided to meters such as when locked gates prevent the meter readers entering the property.


3 Comments on “Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 September 2014”

  1. Joe Mulders says:

    Bob,
    re: Convention Centre in Port-Vila.
    As an old hand in the Tourism industry, a Convention Centre attracts a large number of visitors to a country but for a short period of time. However, unless you have the many extra hotel rooms or aircraft seats let us say over 1,200 available in a maximum of a couple days, this Convention Centre can not be filled with the required number of participants to a Conference and will be a failure.
    With the best of Luck !
    Joe Mulders

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  2. Mark Paloff says:

    On the subject of the economic benefit to Vanuatu of visiting cruise ships, I wonder if readers are aware of an Australian documentary on that matter done by SBS television last September (2013). It detailed the experience of the people of Wala Island off Malakula. The cruise ships have been visiting regularly since 2004 and paying anchorage and other fees that would amount to half a million A$ by now. How have the people of Wala benefited? All they have gained is a flash and modern amenity block. This amenity block is kept locked and only opened for cruise ship passengers when they visit. Not much benefit there.
    search – SBS Dateline Vanuatu’s Broken Dreams

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