18 Mar 2016

New regulation for Vanuatu transport sector

8:36 am on 18 March 2016

Tour operators in Vanuatu are waiting on government endorsement of new regulations aimed at defusing tensions involving transport operators.

The vans that make up Port Vila's bus service line up along the main street.

The vans that make up Port Vila's bus service line up along the main street. Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

There have been a spate of recent incidents, including scuffles between tour operators and public transport providers over fares and an attack on a woman who condemned the behaviour.

The woman, who commented on social media, was abducted and assaulted.

Vice president of Port Vila's Cruise Tourism committee John Tonner said the tensions were partly due to increased pressure on public transport operators caused by fewer flights into Vanuatu.

But Mr Tonner said there were long running issues over accountability and poor organisation in Vanuatu's public transport sector.

"Because the growth of the cruise industry has been so strong, Vanuatu like a lot of the country's in the South Pacific and the broader cruise industry are struggling to keep up with the continued positive growth and the initiative involves a structured operational format for traffic management and market vendors on cruise ship days."

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