VTIP Emergency Management & Maintenance Committee formed

Participants at the National Trade Development Committee Meeting last week at the Melanesian Hotel, Port Vila.

By Jonas Cullwick

The Government of Vanuatu has put in place a mechanism to ensure the donor-funded development project at the Port Vila Seafront precinct to Fatumaru Bay is looked after and maintained after it is handed over at a ceremony on August 10.

It has established a Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project (VTIP), Emergency Management and Maintenance Committee and this committee is currently taking responsibility to develop a plan especially for the management and maintenance of the new assets.

This was revealed in last week’s meeting of the National Trade Development Committee (NTDC) held at The Melanesian Hotel in Port Vila and chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives, Joe Natuman, during the presentation of the Implementation Report on past NTDC Decisions.

“In addition to that, the committee is also seeking additional funds for the remaining scope of the works and also for the refurbishment and repair of the stage,” the report says.

The Trade Development Division, tasked with the job is yet also to secure funding for work on the waste management in the Port Vila harbour.

“Before this work can go ahead, the current situation in the harbour must be properly understood. It is therefore recommended that at the next NTDC meeting, the relevant Government authorities provide a presentation outlining the condition of water in the harbour,” the implementation report on past NTDC decisions states.

Speaking at the meeting of the NTDC, DPM Natuman announced that the VTIP will be officially handed over to the government at a ceremony on Thursday next week, August 10.

The VTIP costing Vt1.2 billion is funded by the New Zealand Government and the Vanuatu Government through the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). The goal of the project is to contribute to a buoyant, resilient tourism sector that provides greater economic returns from the tourism sector for ni-Vanuatu. The project outcome is to increase tourism’s contribution to Vanuatu’s Gross Domestic Product through the promotion of sustainable international tourism.

The VTIP is part of a broader portfolio of tourism activities supported by New Zealand and aimed at implementing the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan 2014-2018 (VSTAP). The Vanuatu Council of Ministers approved the VSTAP in December 2013, which sets out the key tourism development priorities for the tourism sector.

The VSTAP is fully aligned with the Vanuatu Trade Policy Framework, the umbrella policy of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB). The VTIP is pursued under the umbrella of the Vanuatu New Zealand Partnership Arrangement (VNZPA) signed by the Vanuatu’s Prime Minister and the New Zealand High Commissioner on the 21 July 2014.

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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