Media Coverage of 2016 AGRI-TOURISM FESTIVAL
As you are aware, the Ministries of Trade and Agriculture together with the private sector are planning an exciting and major 3-day end of year event from 9th to 11th November (starting in exactly 10 days’ time!). Planning process is well underway.
THIS NOTICE SERVES TO INVITE YOU ALL (MEDIA REPS) TO A VERY IMPORTANT PRE-EVENT BRIEFING WHICH I WANT TO HOLD WITH YOU ON WEDNESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER AT 8:30AM, AT MALFFB CONFERENCE ROOM. DIRECTOR TOURISM AND CHAIRMAN TASKFORCE ARE ALSO REQUESTED TO JOIN ME THAT MORNING TO BRIEF MEDIA !
Big street banners and posters, etc., will be up in the next few days with support from GIZ funding, under the leadership of Dr Chris (thank you!). JBC will be covering the event on behalf of CTA (and the ACP) in Europe so the news gets splashed across the entire ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific). Vanuatu will be hosting the first ever Pacific Week of Agriculture (PWA) in 2017 (tentatively from 31st May to 2ndJune). As such, our first-ever annual ‘Agri-Tourism Festival’ will serve as Vanuatu’s rehearsal for its hosting of PWA 2017. Not only that, but beyond the 2017 event, our intention would be to make it an annual festival to promote linkages between agriculture and tourism, plus trade, industry, and health. In the entire Pacific region, Vanuatu is leading the process of advancing the work of agri-tourism. We’ve conducted and agri-tourism policy setting workshop in May this year. Soon our agri-tourism strategy will be finalised (NZAid funding).
Already we have support now coming from the tourism industry. VIPA Board has also already donated at total of VT100,000 to support the event. Private sector, under the leadership of Madam Cornelia Wyllie will be participating to showcase products made out of ‘agricultural produce’. RBV has committed itself also to supporting the event sponsoring free tent and a cash donation of VT50,000 (thank you Governor). NBV a free tent and Vt.50,000 donation as well (thanks John). Thanks to Madam Cornelia as well for helping to jointly sponsor with the taskforce an advert which will be out in the papers in the next few days. The Vanuatu Chefs Association is also fully backing this event – thanks to our passionate Chef Tyrone Mann for your leadership !
Why Agri-tourism? Because Vanuatu has fresh organic produce (potatoes, carrots, onions, fish, beef, etc.) to offer our growing tourism market. Once the main Lapetasi wharf is open for business, we will see an increase in the number of cruise ships and tourists flowing into Vanuatu. The seafront beautification program is also well underway. Once complete, again an added plus for tourism in Vanuatu. BUT….for far too long our tourists have been eating carrots, potatoes, beef, etc. imported from Australia and NZ!!! This boggles the mind, and is absurd. We need to drive agri-tourism so that gradually we link Vanuatu’s agriculture to tourism. MIPU, under the leadership of Hon. Minister Napat is leading the process to strengthen ‘access’ roads from farm to point of ‘export’. We need to work to satisfied local demand – both by locals and more so by the growing tourism industry. Thus, the need to drive AGRITOURISM ! The Caribbean is way ahead of the rest of the Pacific. We are still going round circles. We’ve got to start thinking more outside the box than continue ‘business-as-usual’.
I have copied a number of DGs, Directors, Ministers, PAs and MPs this email so they also note and appreciate the importance of agritourism now and into the future. The entire ACP is driving this initiative. For the Pacific, Vanuatu is leading the process. We need to keep the momentum and progress further.
Looking forward to a fruitful meeting with the Media team on Wednesday 2nd (Alain, JBC, Len, Stepson and PA Robert Avio – connection to social media side).