10 Sep 2008

Vanuatu's new Government must pay more attention to vital tourism industry

4:26 pm on 10 September 2008

Tourism operators in Vanuatu are hoping the country's new government, once it's formed, will take the industry seriously.

Visitors numbers are heading towards 100 thousand for this year, and these visitors contribute nearly half of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

John Nicholl from the website, Vanuatu Hotels, says without tourism, economically, the country might as well close its doors, and the government needs to focus more on it.

"The government does not pay enough attention, and anybody in the private sector will back that up, we should have a dedicated minister of tourism, who is very well experienced, and who is willing to work with the private sector, becaus eit is driven by the private sector."

But he says, through the internet, Vanuatu is creating a big market, and tourism could grow quickly.

But he says there will need to be increases in capacity, including hotel rooms, to supply that demand.