Vanuatu launches 2017 as ‘Year of Agritourism’Posted: April 5, 2017
Welcome to Vanuatu’s Year of Agritourism which launched yesterday at the Agriculture Station at Tagabe. “We must get more tourism income for farmers,” Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah stressed. “Others have been supporting us for a long time, starting with copra. And New Zealand is about to help us with other production, like beef and coffee. New Zealand is assisting us with what we are launching today – an Agritourism Plan of Action.” He said this because tourism is rapidly replacing agriculture as the main income earner for the country. Deputy PM Natuman a little later observed that by 2020 it is likely that Vanuatu will receive a million tourists a year, the projections for next year showing 300,000 already. Minister Seremaiah underscored the need for more tourism vatu to go to the farming community as the country helps them develop their production for quality and quantity. “Farmers themselves must work on their status,” he said.
Well, yes. And tourism is helping in every way it can from the Government side, starting with Ministers Seremaiah (Agriculture) and Natuman (Trade and Tourism) working closely together for the Agritourism Plan of Action. Minister Natuman observed that most tourists take gifts for family and friends overseas when they leave Vanuatu. Currently, 90% of these gifts are from overseas; rarely are they local handicrafts. “We Ni-Vanuatu must add value to what we really can produce here,” he said. He wants to see local produce being marketed to tourists in all provinces.