IFC-Led Survey Demonstrates Value of Vanuatu’s Tourism Sector

IFC-Led Survey Demonstrates Value of Vanuatu’s Tourism Sector

IFC-Led Survey Demonstrates Value of Vanuatu’s Tourism Sector

The FINANCIAL -- An International Visitor Survey (IVS) led by IFC, in partnership with the Vanuatu Government, shows tourists spent $145 million in the Pacific island nation in 2016, an increase of 9 percent over 2015. 

The survey, undertaken by the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) of Auckland University, measures travel patterns, behaviors, and spending by Vanuatu’s international visitors arriving by air. 

“Now in its second year, the survey provides year-on-year data that can be used to inform tourism development,” said IFC Regional Manager, Pacific, Tom Jacobs. “It is excellent to note a 6-percent increase in arrivals, and the survey shows visitors are also spending more per person, which increases the impact of the sector.” 

Travelers complete an online survey on returning home from Vanuatu. Results show the importance of Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia for Vanuatu’s tourism sector; visitors from these countries constitute 74 percent of all tourist arrivals and 68 percent of all tourist spend. 

Most visitors, 97 percent, stay in the capital, Port Vila. However, survey results show the outer island of Tanna is growing in popularity with 17 percent of visitors traveling there, an increase of 2 percent from 2015. Visitors cited the people, activities, and environment as the most appealing aspects of holidaying in Vanuatu. Four out of five visitors would like to return in the future, with 86 percent saying they would like to visit an outer island next time, according to IFC.

“The results show there is still plenty of work to be done to increase visitors from Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia to return numbers to 2014 levels,” said Vanuatu Tourism Office General Manager Adela Aru. “We need to continue to capture the attention of visitors who are looking to book an island holiday, attract those who enjoyed their stay to return, and also tap into our high-spending long-haul and niche markets.” 

The ongoing survey is a joint effort between the Vanuatu Tourism Office, Vanuatu National Statistics Office, Department of Tourism and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at Auckland University, with support from IFC. Funding is also provided by the Pacific Partnership.