26 Nov 2013

Vanuatu overcomes problems of cruise ship visitor intimidation

2:45 pm on 26 November 2013

A tourism industry official in Vanuatu says he believes the pandemonium that had surrounded the arrival of cruise ships in Port Vila is now a thing of the past.

There had been complaints from tourists and the cruise operators about the sometimes violent jostling for fares by taxi and bus operators at the wharf gates.

But a chamber of commerce tourism sector spokesperson, Brian Death, says the prime minister called a meeting involving various ministries, the police and industry representatives.

He says there has been an immediate turnaround in the security provided at the wharf by police.

"To add to that New Zealand aid [programme] has offered us some assistance to install boom gates for traffic management, which will come about over the next month or two. In addition to that the New Zealand aid major destination support programme will also be inclusive of the taxi and bus driver ultimately, which will educate the drivers in the best way to provide a very positive tourist experience."

Brian Death of the Vanuatu chamber of commerce