Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Vanuatu Tourism’s Adela Issachar Aru

This week we caught up with Adela Issachar Aru, General Manager of the Vanuatu Tourism Office, to find out why she likes her job and who her ideal dinner party involves.

The things I like about my job…

Working in a team environment and seeing team members being empowered to explore opportunities that allow them to achieve results and positively impact the lives of locals while contributing to the growth of Vanuatu’s economy.

I also love that I’m helping to empower women by getting them to acknowledge their role in the tourism sector, especially with activities such as making and selling handicraft products and the fresh food markets.

And the frustration is …

The difficulties faced to secure investment in Vanuatu’s tourism industry when it is such an important part of Vanuatu’s overall economy.

If I didn’t work in travel I would be…

A lawyer. I had my heart set on this career path since high school and I was even awarded a scholarship to study in that field, but my passion for travel at a young age was more exciting and I ended up working in the travel industry.

Favourite airline?

Air Vanuatu, the best airline service in the South Pacific and this year its celebrating its 30th anniversary!

My proudest moment was…

Winning medals when representing my high school, Malapoa College, during the Inter School Secondary sports day. I will never forget the adrenaline, fun and excitement that day when I was part of the winning school team.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was…

Being suspended for a week for making noise during a study period at my boarding school and not telling my parents about it. Interestingly, this was the only bad record of my entire high school life. I was a good student.

I try to relax by…

Reading books, watching movies – especially comedies – and taking long walks.

If I can, I always try to avoid…

Getting into discussions I don’t quite know about or can’t relate to.

I really wish I had…

More time with my father before he passed away.

The best advice I’ve ever received was…

To believe in myself and that I can do it. 

I don’t understand why people…

Complain about politics but don’t seem to realise that the power of change is in their hands.

My greatest weakness is…

Always wanting to help and please everyone without taking the time to focus on myself.

And my greatest strength is…

Being able to pull through difficult situations holding my head high and believing everything will be fine.

If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would…

Invest part of the winnings in a business entity. This would provide employment to some of my family members and locals who are looking for a job, who have the skills but don’t have the opportunity to otherwise secure one.

With the other part of the winnings, I would set up a charitable and trust foundation to promote sustainable practices; awareness of environmental issues and climate change; waste management; counselling and community work.

If I were prime minister I would…

Reflect on what is working for the country and what is not and how we could move forward together. I would also re-invest funds into the sectors that are contributing to the country’s economy. As the business principle says: ‘ Put your money where your mouth is’. Therefore, I would invest more in sectors that drive the economy so that it can in turn support other sectors.

If I could be someone else for one day I would be the…

The prime minister of Vanuatu, to experience what his daily routine is like and how he handles decision-making for the country.

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

The US and Europe, especially to Italy and France.

My favourite holiday was…

Going back to my homeland and realising that time passed but the place more or less stayed the same. It immediately brought back fond childhood memories of happy times with my dad.

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