Extra funds in Budget for Pam, El Niño recovery; NZ funds new tourism strategy

A promotional image from Vanuatu Tourism

A promotional image from Vanuatu Tourism

Government will derive Vt 16.5 billion from from taxes, fees and charges this year Finance Minister Pikioune revealed in the Budget speech yesterday. Vt 6 billion will come from VAT, import duties will produce Vt 2.8 billion and excise tax finds Vt 2.1 billion. Direct budget support from donor partners will amount to Vt 16.1 billion. The expenditure estimates amount to Vt 19.1 billion. Minister Pikioune also pointed out that the 2016 estimates are to address the TC Pam recovery plans and El Niño-related restoration. The Finance Minister said “the focus of Government is to grow the economy in 2016, highlighted by the fact that Vt 158.1 million will go to the productive sector.” The Opposition is not supporting the budget because it contains “reductions in the budgets including those of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education,” says Opposition Leader Kalsakau. Yesterday morning when Parliament opened there were 35 MPs on the Government side and 13 on the Opposition, Daily Post reported. No mention of where the other three MPs might be…

The Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan got underway yesterday with the signing of a NZD 6.6 million funding agreement with the New Zealand Government and Geoff Hyde being appointed team leader for the project. He has worked in a good many island countries before, and has lectured in tourism studies and authored books on the subject. The Plan lasts for four years.

The Deputy PM, Joe Natuman, had plenty to say about tourism in today’s news, observing that far too little of the tourism dollar gets back to locals, much of it being retained by pre-paid package operators, not ever getting into the hands of Ni-Vanuatu. “Not enough is being done to promote local interests and involvement in the tourism sector,” he is quoted as saying in today’s Daily Post.

We are celebrating World Water Day today, as our earlier story this afternoon about Paunangisu’s world-first public toilet with its own website.


One Comment on “Extra funds in Budget for Pam, El Niño recovery; NZ funds new tourism strategy”

  1. Benson T.Raptigh says:

    Benson T. Raptigh

    Congratulations to our Deputy Prime Minister.

    I fully agree with him. It is very obvious that much of the tourism dollars gets back to pre-paid package tours and the locals get very little. The question I wish to put across here is why this golden opportunity is gradually driven out from the locals? Why the locals don’t get what they really want from Tourism?

    I recommend that our Deputy Prime Minister should take action now to find a better solution, since Tourism is under his authority.