New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu
New Zealand and Vanuatu sign tourism partnership
New Zealand and Vanuatu have signed a Tourism Partnership Arrangement setting out their Governments’ mutual responsibilities for a five year programme of tourism cooperation.
The Partnership Arrangement was signed by Prime Minister Joe Natuman and New Zealand High Commissioner Georgina Roberts today.
The goal of the programme is a ‘buoyant, resilient and sustainable tourism sector that provides greater economic returns for the people of Vanuatu’.
“I am pleased to be able to sign this Partnership Arrangement on behalf of New Zealand with Prime Minister Natuman. We want to see tourism grow in Vanuatu – and in a way that is sustainable and benefits the country and its people”, said Ms Roberts. “The Partnership Arrangement formalises the strong relationship and cooperation on tourism that has existed between our countries for many years”.
“The agreement by New Zealand to dedicate a significant portion of their assistance to the tourism sector signals the maturity of a partnership which is not afraid to take bold decisions on key development priorities”, said PM Natuman.
“The direct link existing between the projects to be undertaken under the umbrella of the Partnership and the recommendations of the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan (VSTAP), our national strategy for tourism development, guarantees that each and any intervention supported by New Zealand will contribute to the achievement of our national tourism vision”.
New Zealand is pleased to partner with the Vanuatu Government on key initiatives such as the Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project (VTIP), which aims to improve the safety, attractiveness and value of Port Vila as a tourist and cruise-ship gateway. With designs recently completed, project tendering is now under way and construction of a rejuvenated public seafront area is expected to start in January 2015.
Over the years New Zealand’s support has included the placement of numerous volunteer tourism experts around Vanuatu, funding the production of the Vanuatu Strategic Action Plan in 2013, assisting development of tourism facilities, and the Vanuatu Tourism Ambassador Programme.
With the signing of the Partnership Arrangement, New Zealand is significantly increasing its support to the Vanuatu tourism sector, with plans to support a range of priority activities in the areas of marketing, infrastructure, product development and standards, governance and human resource development.
“Current and planned initiatives in the areas of tourism strategy, infrastructure and service delivery will contribute to the development of a strong and vibrant Vanuatu tourism industry in coming years,” Ms Roberts said.
“Today is another milestone in the services industry in Vanuatu. Statistics show that tourism is growing and is becoming a leading industry in Vanuatu which is providing much needed jobs to the Ni-Vanuatu people and their families. Today , we see a good gesture by the New Zealand Government, supporting our tourism sector. The Government I lead today wishes to see a sustainable tourism sector which encourages Ni- Vanuatu participation and ownership, particularly a tourism sector that reaches out to the rural communities and extends the tourism vatu to the rural economy. I am confident that the New Zealand- Vanuatu tourism partnership signed today will assist in this endeavour” said PM Natuman.