17 Feb 2006

Cruise firm puts off Vanuatu stops because of land transport bickering

9:23 am on 17 February 2006

Internal bickering between taxi and bus operators in Vanuatu has reportedly forced P&O Cruises to put on hold its scheduled stops to the islands until all the differences are sorted out.

The Daily Post newspaper reports that in a recent incident, an employee of a travel company was attacked by angry taxi and bus operators over the allocation of contracts for the transportation of tourists from the cruise vessel to allocated hotels.

Willie Wilson President of the Land Transport Association has accused Adventures Paradise and P&O Cruises of trying to have a monopoly over Vanuatu products which is not acceptable to the association.

Adventures in Paradise use between 18 and 20 Ni-Vanuatu owned buses along with their own tour buses to take people around on island tours when a cruise ship is in town.

Daily Post reports that previously there have been ugly confrontations on a number of occasions at the wharf between taxis, buses and tour operators.