The Department of Tourism, through VSTAP and in partnership with the Public Land Transport Authority is implementing the Tourism Transport Ambassador Program.
As part of the on-going initiatives to support and improve the transport industry a series of workshops are being organised with respective business partners and stakeholders in the tourism industry which aim to inform and help the Ambassadors develop more insights into their role in the tourism industry.
The importance of these Business and Industry workshops is to develop the Transport Ambassador drivers’ knowledge about their own business and how this relates to the tourism industry in Port Vila and Vanuatu, to develop a better understanding of Vanuatu as a tourist destination, to develop tourism product knowledge and to improve the services they provide to their tourists and customers in general. They will have a broader understanding on their own business operations, understand the importance of marketing and promoting Vanuatu as a tourist destination and learn about tour guiding skills and techniques.
In March 22nd of this year, 228 drivers graduated from a two-week intensive training course at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology, receiving Vanuatu Qualification Authority (VQA) accredited certificates. A graduation ceremony was held at the National Convention Centre for the drivers who proudly received their certificates.
The ceremony was witnessed by representatives from the New Zealand High Commission, the Vanuatu Institute of Technology, the Department of Tertiary Education, Department of Tourism, the Public Land Transport Authority, Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan Implementation Unit (VSTAP/IU) and families and friends of the graduating drivers.
The Taxi Ambassador Program commenced in 2014 as a pilot program and the name changed to the Tourism Transport Ambassador Program to cater for a wider range of tourism transportations.
The Business and Industry workshops will be held at the Warwick Le Lagon Resort over the next four weeks. The first one commenced on Friday, the 26th of October. The workshops will be 1 half-day session only per week.
The schedule was done to accommodate drivers as it is understandable they are business men and women who do not wish to lose out on potential clients and business especially during cruise ship days in town.
All sessions are from 8am to 12pm with different presenters from the Business and Tourism Industry as well as other relevant government departments and stakeholder partners. Around 140 drivers will be attending these informative workshops as a follow-up to the training they received at the beginning of the year.
The Senior Ambassador Officer at DoT, Ms Nadia Kanegai, encourages all Tourism Transport Ambassador Drivers to attend these workshops as they will benefit from the information that the invited presenters will be sharing with them and they can use this to improve on their tourism transport businesses.