Vanuatu Tourism Office successfully hosts first Tok Tok in four years

Vanuatu Tourism Office successfully hosts first Tok Tok in four years

It’s all smiles at the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) this week as the tourism board wraps up the successful hosting of its first Tok Tok trade industry event since 2019.

Held between 28 August – 4 September, more than 63 local operators welcomed 41 buyers from six nations – including the likes of Omniche Holidays, Expedia and Ignite from Australia – as they Answered the Call of Vanuatu and discovered all that’s new across the country’s 83 islands.

The week of events and festivities commenced with a buzzing cocktail evening at Banyan Beach Bar on Tuesday, 29th August, hosted by major Tok Tok sponsor Air Vanuatu.

Fergus Dale Expedia, Pierre-Luc Chabot & Melissa Bule 83 Islands at the B2B Day (Credit: VTO)

Tailored site visits across Efate kicked off on Wednesday, 30th August, allowing first-time visitors a taste of the destination’s attractions and properties and those that have travelled before the opportunity to reconnect with the product they know as well as explore the latest openings.

The night of Wednesday, 30th August was the Vanuatu Marketplace Welcome Function, a celebration of the Department of Tourism’s Made in Vanuatu program, which heroes the wide and varied spectrum of products that are created, grown or developed in Vanuatu.

Then, Friday 1st September played host to a business-to-business day – a Tok Tok mainstay, it brought local operators and international sellers together over a series of one-on-one meetings to discuss opportunities to sell, promote and drive visitation to Vanuatu in 2024 and beyond before a glittering gala dinner at Warwick Le Lagon’s beachfront.

Finally, to showcase the allure of Vanuatu’s outer islands, international buyers were welcomed on a curated itinerary to Espiritu Santo or Tanna. Visits to the islands’ major accommodations and experiences featured, as well as opportunities to take in their natural beauty.

Vanuatu Tourism Office CEO, Adela Issachar Aru, said this year’s Tok Tok was particularly special, being the first since the country’s borders reopened in 2022.

Tok Tok 2023 was all about reconnection. Reconnecting with friends and colleagues and the places in Vanuatu that we know travellers from all over the world love,” said Mrs Issachar Aru.

“The week was a showcase of Ni-Vanuatu hospitality and of all the wonderful reasons to sell and visit Vanuatu – the amazing locally-made products, the charm of our resorts and hotels, the breadth of adventures on offer and the beauty of our outer islands. We hope the Tok Tok 2023 experience has left our partners motivated to contract and sell Vanuatu, and we look forward to hopefully welcoming even more travellers to Answer the Call of Vanuatu in 2024 as a result.”

Omniche Holidays Destination Manager, Belinda Burris-Scott, said the event was a wonderful chance to connect with the wholesaler’s partners.

Tok Tok 2023 was an incredibly uplifting reunion for the tourism industry. To reconnect face-to-face with our Vanuatu partners and reassure them of our passion and commitment to help them rebuild after such a tough time was a fantastic opportunity,” said Ms Burris-Scott. 

Greg Wilson, Chief Commercial Officer of Tok Tok 2023 major sponsor, Air Vanuatu, added that the airline was delighted to be part of the event, using it as a platform to share scheduling news and updates with buyers from across the world.  

“Air Vanuatu has been a major sponsor of Tok Tok for the last 18 years as it’s always such a fantastic opportunity to connect with partners, forge connections and foster opportunities for the year ahead,” said Mr Wilson. 

“All discussions have been immensely positive, with buyers expressing their excitement to contract and sell Vanuatu in 2024. We look forward to welcoming travellers on board with our signature warm Pacific welcome and the brightest smiles in the South Pacific!” 

For trade updates on Vanuatu, please visit www.vanuatuspecialists.com.au and consumer updates at www.vanuatu.travel/au.

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