15 Dec 2016

Vanuatu businesses poised to better tap cruise ship market

7:41 am on 15 December 2016

Small Vanuatu businesses are poised for greater access to the tourism market with the opportunity to sell their products on board visiting P&O cruise ships.

The P&O cruise ship Pacific Jewel docked in Noumea.

The P&O cruise ship Pacific Jewel docked in Noumea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The initiative has been launched in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation, of the World Bank Group.

In 2014, the IFC conducted an economic-impact study of the local cruise sector, finding that cruise passenger, company, and crew-spending amounted to 10 percent of Vanuatu's total annual exports.

The owner of one of the initial suppliers, Pandanus Consulting Services Vanuatu, said the initiative provides access for their handicraft products to a wider range of customers.

Nicky Barnes said it was a pilot of a national programme where cruise liners have selected certain products based on their ability to sell well with passengers.

"Such as coffee, coconut oils, wooden items, souvenirs, bracelets, jewellery etc. And those products will be on board every time the ship is leaving Vanuatu."

"So people who have been out on cruises, snorkel tours or various different activities and didn't get a chance to purchase in Vanuatu will have the ability to purchase Vanuatu-made items," she said.