Draft Seafront Management Plan released for public consultation

New Zealand High Commissioner Georgina Roberts and Prime Minister Charlot Salwai joined women of Mama’s Market at handing over of the remodeled Port Vila Seafront in September. Photo: Hilaire Bule

By Jonas Cullwick

The Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry, Commerce, and Ni-Vanuatu business has released a draft management plan for the Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project (VTIP) for consultation.

VTIP, which includes Fatumaru Bay Park, Feiawa Park (the ‘seafront’), and parts of the new Portside, was funded by the New Zealand Government and the Enhanced Integrated Framework and was officially opened by a high-level delegation on September 1.

Since the official opening the park has been a huge success, with locals and tourists of all ages coming together under the auspices of Port Vila Municipal Council to enjoy the new gateway to Port Vila and Vanuatu.

Everyone in Vanuatu agrees that it is vital that this success continues over time.

It is with this in mind that the VTIP Management Committee, in conjunction with the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan, engaged an expert consultant, Dr. Andrew MacKenzie, to draft a management plan for the park to ensure that it remains clean, safe, and well-maintained for many years to come.

The plan lays out a collaborative approach between Government, Port Vila Municipal Council, and local businesses to work together to fund and manage the facilities.

Acting Director General, MTTCNVB, George Borugu said “Dr MacKenzie has pulled together an exciting plan that sets out a vision for the future.

“Whilst the approach outlined in the plan is something new for Vanuatu, it draws upon the community to work together to manage assets – something which we do very well here in Vanuatu.

“It is up to all citizens to ensure that tourists and locals alike experience Vanuatu’s social, cultural, and commercial excellence on the seafront.

“I encourage all interested stakeholders to provide feedback and input on this plan.”

The Chair of the VTIP Committee, Acting Director of Tourism, Donald Pelam, encouraged all members of the public to respect and engage with this management plan.

He also repeated the Deputy Prime Minister’s call for the people of Vanuatu to look after the new seafront as if it were their own home, saying “the care by the public is the most important part of the maintenance of the seafront”.

For a draft copy of the plan, email the secretariat of the VTIP Management Committee, Peter Judge, on pjudge@vanuatu.gov.vu. Any feedback or queries about the plan should be sent to Dr MacKenzie andrew.mackenzie@anu.edu.au by 5pm on November 27.

In other news, applications for spaces in the handicraft market have now closed.

The Department of Industry is delighted to inform the public that they have received many high-quality applications, and they are now working on selecting which vendors will occupy the markets.

The markets will showcase the finest handicrafts and products from across Vanuatu, and are expecting to open on November 20.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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