The visitor information and bookings centre opened its office in October last year and now has over 25 members from Tanna. It commenced taking bookings in March and it is hoped that this new website will assist increase booking numbers and tourist interest in traveling to Tanna.
“This website is now the key to ensure that their information is available online through the Tanna Travel Centre. The website will also help our smaller operators, who have been working hard to improve their businesses, to access to online marketing whereas before only big operators were able to do so, so I see Tourism on Tanna taking another very big step ahead with this new development,” said Jimmy Kawiel, The Tafea Tourism Office Business Development Officer.
The Travel Centre is conveniently located at the Whitegrass Airport, and provides information about local attractions, maps, cultural history and other relevant information. Visitors will also be able to purchase handicrafts and local art works made within Tafea Province.
The Travel Centre supports local tourism operators to engage with international visitors through social media, travel agents and online booking websites. Its aim is to open local businesses to the world and provide an important stimulus to provincial economic growth. It is hoped that membership from other islands in Tafea will increase in the coming months with the support of the Department of Tourism.
Tanna Travel Centre is part of the Provincial Travel Centre Network, operating under the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO). Its website now has a direct link to the national site to assist keeping information updated.
Adela Issachar the CEO of Vanuatu Tourism Office stated that, "This is indeed a big step in connecting Tanna tourism operators with their consumers. We will be watching closely the success of the site to determine if this is a model that can be transferred to a broader platform. I would like to congratulate the team on the launch of this site as there is enormous energy and effort required to make these projects come to fruition".
The Tanna Travel Centre was set up through a collaboration between the VTO, the Department of Tourism and the Australian Government-funded, Vanuatu Skills Partnership (TVET). Tanna Travel Centre is also based on the successes of the Sanma and Malampa Travel Centres strongly supported by the Vanuatu Skills Partnership. Tanna Travel Centre was funded by the Australian Government through the Tanna Tourism Recovery Project (TTRP) and developed by the Department of Tourism in response to the effects of cyclone Pam on the local tourism sector of Tanna.