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Vanuatu, Samoa ready for new wave of tourists

Travelers to Vanuatu can expect a range of new experiences when international borders reopen from July 1, says the country’s destination market arm.

It’s been 27 months since borders closed in early 2020 and as travel access gradually increases, tourism operators have been busy designing packages for keen guests, including sun seekers escaping the winter chill.

“Some new post-Covid tourism products and experiences that visitors can expect on their return are new eco-tourism conservations, marine conservation tours, children’s swimming and play pool park, agritourism tourism tours, food tours and new eating and dining areas,” said Adela Issachar Aru, CEO of the Vanuatu Tourism Office.

“As we all understand, keeping any tourism business operating during the pandemic has not been easy, however some businesses have been able to review their business models into a diversified type of business so that they are able to offer new experiences.”

Vanuatu isn’t the only regional destinations to reclaim international holiday goers in the coming months, with the Solomons Islands also reopening on July 1, followed by Samoa on August 1.

Travelers to Vanuatu can expect a range of new experiences when international borders reopen from July 1, says the country’s destination market arm. Picture: Vanuatu Tourism Office.

“Our target is to keep the Air Vanuatu flights at high load factors from all markets and create enough commercial demand to have all tourism and associated businesses fully operational by the end of the year,” Ms Issachar Aru told Pacific Advocate.

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As regional travel demand picks up, Virgin Australia will also restart direct flights to Vanuatu and Samoa next year. The airline had initially suspended flights to Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu early last year, and has already resumed flights to a reopened Fiji.

“The addition of Samoa and Vanuatu to Virgin Australia’s network will give holiday makers a greater choice of Pacific Island destinations as well as provide those wanting to reconnect with friends and family the opportunity to do so as both destinations open to international travel post COVID-19,” the airline said.

Virgin Australia will resume flights to Vanuatu and Samoa in March 2023. Picture: Virgin Australia.

Virgin’s Brisbane to Vanuatu flights will restart from March 10, 2023, followed by Sydney to Samoa from March 21 and Brisbane to Samoa on March 23.

The airline’s short haul international operations are growing and to mark the milestone, it has launched a sale for all short haul network routes including Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji.

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