Destinations

Vanuatu sets opening date

The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) announced yesterday that Vanuatu will open its borders to fully-vaccinated international travellers from 1 July.

There will be no quarantine or arrival caps, and agents can now book their clients on flights to Port Vila with the country’s national carrier, Air Vanuatu.

The national carrier will resume its services to the nation’s capital, Port Vila from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on 1 July, with flying times all less than four hours, as Vanuatu reopens its border to international travellers.

VTO’s CEO, Adela Issachar Aru, said this is fantastic news for the local tourism industry and future international travellers.

“We’ve kept Vanuatu beautiful, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming travellers back to our shores come July,” Issachar Aru said.

“We’ll be using the next two months to help ready our tourism operators and are working closely with the Ministry of Health, the Department of Tourism and other relevant stakeholders to ensure our people and visitors will be safe when they do travel. We’re inviting Australians to Answer the Call of Vanuatu once again.”

The Air Vanuatu CEO, Atu Finau, has reaffirmed the national airline’s commitment to provide the much vital connectivity between Vanuatu and its regional network.

“It’s exciting to finally be able to welcome our customers back onboard again, after the temporary suspension of our international passenger flights in March 2020,” Finau said.

“We’ve released our international schedule to commence in July, and we are confident that we can increase flight frequencies and capacity as demand grows. The pent-up demand since 2020 provides us with the assurance that Vanuatu remains one of the top destinations to travel to as soon border restrictions are eased.”

The airline will operate five non-stop flights a week from Sydney to Port Vila (3hr 30 flight duration) – departing Monday 1055, Wednesday 1920, Friday 1055, Saturday 1920, Sunday 1055.

As well as three non-stop flights a week from Brisbane to Port Vila (2hr 50 flight duration) – departing Tuesday 0900, Friday 1925, Sunday 1925 and one non-stop service a week from Melbourne (4hr flight duration) – departing Thursday 1145.

The country will still have some entry requirements in place to ensure that both visitors and locals alike are kept safe when travelling within its islands.

These requirements will include being fully vaccinated, pre-departure tests and undertaking a health clearance ahead of departure, as well as arrival testing.

The local industry is currently preparing for the arrival of international travellers by refreshing and finalising new product, liaising with Australian wholesalers to showcase their products, re-hiring staff and ensuring their hotels and restaurants comply with the Safe Business Operations guidelines, a programme which covers training and audit checks to ensure enhanced cleaning, personal hygiene, and protection measures are in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.



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