Cyclone-hit Tanna bungalows begin operation

Vanuatu Daily Post – DAround 10 tourism bungalows on Tanna that were destroyed during cyclone Pam will return to full operation this week.

These renovated bungalows are White Beach Bungalows, Island Dream Bungalows, Apera Beach Bungalows, Rocky Ridge Bungalows, Crystal Lagoon Bungalows, Iwaru Beach Bungalows, Hidden Treasure and Yasur View Lodge that will be launched today (Monday) and tomorrow.

This realization was made possible through recovery funds from the Government of Australia through the Governance for Growth Program.

Vt22.3million was provided to revive and boost tourism in Vanuatu.

Eight other bungalows are due to complete renovation and open to visitors in early May.

These are Ikamer Bungalows and Restaurant, Port Resolution Yacht Club, Tanna Lava View Bungalow, Tree House Eco Adventure, Volcano Have Bungalows, Volcano Island Paradise Bungalows, Volcano Vista Bungalows and Volcano Eco with Tree House.

Tanna, as the worst cyclone-hit island in Tafea province lost a lot of its bungalows to cyclone-Pam.

The number of visitors to the island dropped significantly following the disaster.

The island’s economy depends on tourism.

To ensure tourism operators get back on their feet as soon as possible and visitors to start returning for overnight stays, the Department of Tourism (DoT) last year kicked off recovery activities on Tanna to revive affected products.

Initiated by the DoT, the ‘Tanna Tourism Recovery Project’ is supported through recovery funds from the Government of Australian.

The Australian government ‘Skills for Economic Growth Program’ (TVET) in Vanuatu is coordinating the Tanna Tourism Recovery Project.

This project aims to improve the quality of local tourism accommodation on Tanna post-cyclone Pam by providing product development support and subsidized materials to key tourism accommodation businesses, said the Tafea Skills Centre Manager, Joe Iautim.

Since August 2016, the Tafea Skills Centre has been delivering activities for the project. Customised workshops were held with tourism operators and on-site coaching visits from product development and construction industry coaches.

Nationally accredited tourism trainings for tour guiding and accommodation services were also held.

So far on the overall recovery funds, over Vt10 million has been spent on construction and sanitation materials supplied to tourism operators. It includes Vt1.3 million worth of locally made hard-wood furniture and Vt1.5 million worth of ‘natangura’ purchased from communities on Malekula through the Malampa Skills Centre.

During the launch today, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) will be signed between the Tanna Tourism Recovery Committee and the Tafea Travel Information Centre Management Board.

This signing will confirm a Vt4.6 million support for the establishment of an online booking centre to boost tourism growth.

Tafea Travel Information Centre will aim to strengthen links between local tourism operators and international tourists, while enhancing product and provincial destination marketing.

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