The Department of Tourism under the Tourism Support Program has commenced assistance to tourism operators during this quiet time while the borders are closed. This assistance is to address the shortfalls. Insufficient safe drinking water is a problem area that has been highlighted through surveys undertaken by the Department of Tourism. Throughout Vanuatu, rural tourism operators started to receive 5000-litre water tanks this past week.

As part of the rolling out of the Tourism Support Program, Acting Principal Investment Officer Mr. Mark Kalotap and Principal Outer Islands Officer Mrs. Janet Samuel said, “It is important for the tourism operators to be assisted and address areas that need to be addressed, so that when boarders re-open, we are ready to welcome visitors with improved service”.

Mr. Johnny Alick, a Department Officer, was very emotional when working with the team in delivering the first batch of tanks saying, “I don’t know how to react as this is very emotional. It’s great to be part of a team that is doing good for my people”.

The President of Nguna and Pele Tourism association, Pastor Solomon Sisi was overwhelmed with this unexpected assistance. He said, “The water tanks will not only benefit the bungalows, but also the community at large.

I want to thank the Department of Tourism for giving us hope during this difficult time due to COVID19, Cyclone Harold which has hit our Northern Provinces colleagues, and we are also expecting an upcoming dry season according to the Meteorology Department”.

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