The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) is pleased to announce the official opening of its new Tanna Travel Centre yesterday morning in central Lenakel, Tanna.

The new Tanna Travel Centre is located opposite Lenakel’s market house, a central location that will help ensure better accessibility for members of the public wanting information or to make travel bookings. The Tanna Travel Centre’s previous location was at White Grass Airport.

TAFEA’s tourism businesses will also benefit from having a more convenient location for marketing and selling their products to domestic consumers. Eventually, when it is safe to reopen Vanuatu’s borders to overseas visitors, the new Tanna Travel Centre will also facilitate a large volume of bookings for tourism businesses in Vanuatu’s southernmost province, as it did prior to the pandemic.

In his official speech to launch the new Travel Centre, the Minister for Tourism, Trade, Industry and Ni-Vanuatu Business, James Bule said “the improvement of VTO’s information centres and reservation processes are important, as they enable consumers to get the information they need and to make bookings that provide income and livelihoods for our tourism businesses.”

According to Minister Bule, the Government’s Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021-2025 seeks to improve key areas of the tourism sector as a pathway to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today, we are standing together to see the implementation of one of these activities under the theme of wellbeing, through ‘high value, low impact tourism,’” he says.

In her remarks at today’s launch, VTO’s CEO, Adela Issachar Aru said, “today we are here to witness the opening of a new Tanna Travel Centre because there is demand for improving travel bookings, payment processes and to create a place where tourism business owners can easily get marketing support for their businesses”.

The Tanna Travel Centre was first established in August 2017 at White Grass Airport with the support of the Australian and New Zealand governments, under the management of the Vanuatu Skills Partnership Program. In 2018, VTO took over the role of running the Call Centre network throughout the country, including the Tanna Travel Centre.

VTO’s Call Centre network operates in all six provinces of Vanuatu to package and sell market-ready accommodation, tours and transport products from tourism businesses. 93% of these are small, family owned ni-Vanuatu businesses.

“I have observed today how happy the business owners present this morning have been to witness the opening of VTO’s new, revamped Tanna Travel Centre. The new Tanna Travel Centre is a critical facilitator for domestic tourism that will allow a much closer working partnership with tourism businesses from all islands of Tafea Province”, said Lea Faccarello, VTO’s Manager of Long-Haul and Domestic Markets at today’s launch.

“The Tanna Travel Centre is VTO’s key point of presence in Tafea Province for the delivering our new Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy 2021-2023 which we launched at the Mi Tumoro Vanuatu Travel Expo last week. From our new premises here in Lenakel, VTO can help many more domestic tourists book with Tafea tourism businesses. We encourage everyone in Vanuatu to make bookings with TAFEA’s tourism businesses and Sapotem Lokol Turisim!” says Ms. Faccarello.

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