Tanna tourism bouncing back

Opening of Tanna Travel Center at Whitegrass Airport by Minister Natuman and Commissioner Da Rin

By Anita Roberts

There is a growing confidence among tourism officials that the island of Tanna is getting tourists back, after being paralyzed in the aftermaths of cyclone Pam.

Tanna is one of visitor’s favorable place to visit in Vanuatu. It has faced a long road to recovery when cyclone Pam battered the country.

The number of visitors fell, travelers canceled trips and revenue dropped for several months on the island where tourism is the main income earner.

But, after two years there are signs the key sector is bouncing back to life.

The fully-booked flights to Tanna over the past months proves the number of visitors to the island is increasing.

Also, today a lot of businesses are up running, thanks to the Australian Government who stepped forward to repair the damages and assist in rebuilding, which cost millions.

The Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu , Jenny Da Rin, has shared her optimism with tourism officials about tourism on Tanna getting back to normal.

“I am confident tourism is recovering really well and we (Australia) are happy to help,” she said.

It would not be a quick fix with the contribution of the ‘Tanna Movie’ which have showcased Tanna’s natural beauty and custom to the world, Commissioner Da Rin added.

She was speaking during the during the recent opening of the Tanna’s visitor’s information and bookings centre at Whitegrass Airport.

This is part of ongoing recovery efforts aided by the government of Australia.

Marketing is a critical part of any business.But in today’s generation, tour and bookings are made online therefore, it is vital local business operators make use of the digital marketing opportunity.

The establishment of Tanna Travel Center will take tourism on Tanna to another level, said the Minister of Tourism, Joe Natuman.

It will accelerate efforts to meet the national target of reaching 300,000 air visitors by 2020, he said.

Minister Natuman said an international survey indicated that 80% of visitors did their research on their internet before coming to Vanuatu.

“50 to 60% look at Vanuatu Tourism Office travel website before coming,” he said.

He said the prime objective of the call center is to assist local operators with no marketing knowledge to promote businesses and provide relevant information to visitors, during their stay on Tanna.

Airports Vanuatu Limited was applauded for providing a space at the Whitegrass Airport to accommodate the booking and information center.

Telecom Vanuatu Limited will be providing free internet service in the travel center operation for a year.

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