Vanuatu Tourism Accreditation

Vanuatu Tourism Accreditation

Vanuatu Tourism Accreditation

Submitted by Jerry Spooner




Cultural Tour VanuatuThe Government of Vanuatu through the Department of Tourism, solely responsible for the development and management of Tourism Products and Services within the Destination has to date developed its own Accreditation Program. The key focus of the program is to highlight the need to set and enforce minimum standards throughout the tourism sector. The Program has developed standards for multiple types of tourism operations including accommodation, land/air/water transport and tour operators. The Standards are governed by the Vanuatu Tourism Council Act 201s and administered by the DoT. The Tourism Councils Act gives power to ensure all tourism operators must adhere to standards set by the Government to address standards developed.


The roll-out, introducing (Vanuatu Tour Operators Minimum Standards) VTOMS-2015 and (Vanuatu Tour Operators Classification System) VTOCS-2015, was trialled in parallel with changes to the Business Licence Act. These changes require tourism operators to hold a Tourism Permit before a Business Licence can be issued. The pilot, and particularly the integration with Customs and Inland Revenue along with (Vanuatu Investment Promotions Authority) VIPA processes (a VIPA certificate being required where Operators are Investors), highlighted a number of areas for review.  With close to 400 tourism operators having completed the Permit process and provided feedback, one of the most significant and urgent areas for review is the range and implementation of Classification categories.


The next part of this development exercise is to develop Vanuatu’s own tourism rating system, a sustainable/eco tourism system develop to encourage the sustainability aspect of the approach to ensure that the social, environment and economical aspect of the activities are considered. The Southern Cross University (Australia) has come on board to support the Vanuatu Department of Tourism in having some attachments with the Eco Tourism Australia. A workshop is to be held in the Gold Coast in October to allow consultative discussions and feedback based on what the country (Vanuatu) has done to date, where it is hoping to get to and how, based on recommendations from the Discussions.


Vanuatu BungalowThe Vanuatu Department of Tourism is the body set up to oversee the development and classifying of tourism products and services, promote investment in the tourism sector and ensuring that national industry standards are met before issuing of tourism permits as a requirement for business license issuing. The new commitment undertaken by the department of tourism is to incorporate the sustainability into all existing project objectives and their activities to ensure the conservation aspect of local land, community and cultural heritage is considered. The overall objective is to ensure Vanuatu maintain its reputation as being a cultural destination, one where the sustainability of its management is evident.


Vanuatu Department of Tourism website:





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