6 Feb 2008

Vanuatu records 19 percent increase in tourist arrivals

10:16 am on 6 February 2008

Vanuatu has recorded a 19 percent increase in tourist arrivals last year compared to the year before.

The country has become more accessible as there are now more flights on offer, and it has also been advertising in its key markets.

Annie Naitu from the country's Tourism Office says Vanuatu has had a record high in tourist arrivals last year.

"The total arrival was 81,345. That's an increase of at least 19.3 percent. Overall, there's been an increase from Australia of 9 percent, the US market with 8.5 and Japan 8 percent. From New Zealand, there's been an increase by 2.4 percent."

Annie Naitu says 62 percent of the tourists are from Australia, while New Caledonia and New Zealand both contribute to about twelve percent.

Ms Naitu says Vanuatu has become more popular, because it is perceived as a peaceful country, contrary to many of its Melanesian neighbours.